Saturday, 27 April 2019

US stocks hit new record high after GDP report

Markets were mixed on Friday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent to a record high while the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.2 percent.

However, earlier in Asia, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.2 percent and the Shanghai Composite tumbled 1.2 percent.

US stocks were boosted by a report that showed that the US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter.

Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial Corp, wrote that the GDP report shows that the US economy “shot out of the gate big time” in 2019.

Others were not as thrilled by the GDP report.

“The heart of the real economy — private-sector consumption and investment — slowed sharply in the first quarter to a 1.3% annual rate, the slowest growth in nearly six years,” noted Rex Nutting at MarketWatch.

Jason Furman, former economic adviser for President Obama and a professor at Harvard University, said that the underlying data “is consistent with a slowing economy”.

Nevertheless, Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, wrote that “global growth is expected to improve into the second half of the year” and expects “decent gains for share markets through 2019 as a whole”.

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