All Posts Tagged: S&P 500

U.S. Outlook: What to expect from next week’s Q1 GDP release

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

The time has finally come. No, I’m not talking about the Mueller Report. I’m talking about the advanced release of Close up on Wall St. street sign, with tourists enjoying the street in summer weather behind it.first quarter GDP.

Just four months into 2019 and we have already had a year’s worth of GDP estimate revisions and sentiment swings.

We started the year with stocks finishing their worst quarter since 2011, and the bond market sending ominous signals of economic calamity ahead. Flash forward to today and stocks are reaching for new record highs — the S&P 500 was just 0.9 percentage points below its September 20 record high as of Thursday’s close.

Yet investor confidence remains in the dumps. An investor confidence index from State Street shows institutional investors on balance are continuing to decrease their long-term allocations to risky assets. As of March, this measure of investor confidence was still well below 2008 levels.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on April 19.

Key observations:
  • The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow forecast for Q1 2019 started at a paltry 0.17%, before surging in recent weeks to 2.8%.
  • We expect the advance estimate of Q1 GDP to be a comfortable 2.6%, even higher than the fourth quarter’s 2.2% performance.
  • About one percentage point of that 2.6% Q1 growth rate is expected to come from an inventory build (0.4 percentage points) and an improvement in the trade deficit (0.6 percentage points). Neither boost is expected to be repeated in the second quarter.

Read my full report.

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Investment Insights: Will earnings take the driver’s seat?

Wade Balliet
Posted by Wade Balliet
Investment Strategy

After an extensive decline in the last quarter of 2018, U.S. stock markets are bouncing back and are nearing record levels.

The S&P 500 is now up over 16% in 2019 after a stellar first three months of the year – the best performing quarter since 2009 – and the index is just 30 points away from its all-time high per Bloomberg.

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Investment Insights: April fools rush in

Wade Balliet
Posted by Wade Balliet
Investment Strategy

Our team has continued to enjoy beneficial positioning in the current investment environment, though we continue to be wary of how long such notable gains can last. Financial market fundamentals remain fairly positive in our view, but those may be overshadowed in the future by potential negative factors, particularly from geopolitics.

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Instant Analysis: FOMC signals prolonged rate hike pause into 2020

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Federal Reserve building at dusk

The FOMC all but gave up their dreams of normalizing short-term interest rates, deciding to hold the Fed fund target rate between 2.25% and 2.50% at today’s FOMC meeting with 11 FOMC participants expecting the Fed funds rate to end 2019 at the same levels.  

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Investment Insights: On-again, off-again … swipe right already

Wade Balliet
Posted by Wade Balliet
Investment Strategy
Upward view of the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange with a burst of sunlight coming over the top.

Geopolitical events continue to overshadow an expanding global economy that is likely starting to reach a peak, or at least a plateau.

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