The Markets (as of market close April 28, 2017)
Better-than-expected quarterly corporate earnings reports, a sign of sustained strength for many large companies, have pushed stocks higher, especially in the tech heavy NASDAQ. All benchmarks had a positive week including international indices. Long-term bond yields increased on news of proposed tax cuts.
Last Week’s Headlines
- The initial estimate for the first-quarter gross domestic product showed economic growth slowed compared to the fourth quarter, likely due to rising inflation cutting into spending habits.
- New home sales continued to surge in March, according to the latest figures from the Census Bureau.
- New orders for manufactured durable goods in March increased $1.6 billion, or 0.7%, to $238.7 billion, according to the Census Bureau.
- The international trade deficit increased slightly in March from the prior month.
- Consumer confidence in the economy took a step back in April following an increase in March. The Index of Consumer Sentiment from the University of Michigan increased slightly showing consumers were bullish about current economic conditions and expectations for further economic growth.
Eye on the Week Ahead
The all-important employment figures for April are out at the end of the week. March saw new hires for the month drop to fewer than 100,000 for the first time in a long time. However, the unemployment rate fell to 4.5% while average hourly earnings continue to rise – all of which points to an expanding economy.
The strengthening economy is keeping BWFA focused on growth investing for our clients.
Happy May Day!