First Quarter GDP Growth at 2.5%

Financial News for the Week Ending March 27th

U.S. markets rose over the week on positive economic news. The S&P 500 gained 1.7% and the Dow notched a 1.1% gain. Internationally, Japan continued its march upward gaining 4.3% and Europe rose 4.2%. The 10-year Treasury edged down to 1.669%.

A Twitter hacker caused a temporary crash in the U.S. stock market by announcing a bombing at the White House. Computerized trading programs seized on the news to send the market down and raised more questions about the trading approach.

First quarter GDP came in below expectations at 2.5%. The pace picked up significantly from the 4th quarter, however, fell below analyst estimates of 3.0%. Reductions in federal spending and meager spending from business will likely keep growth from expanding.

U.S. home prices rose 11.8% and sales fell 0.6% as a result of limited supply in March.

An early reading on manufacturing in China fell in April adding to fears about the country’s growth.

Europe saw its private sector weaken further in April and business activity fell in Germany for the first time since November. Spain’s unemployment rate jumped to 27.2% and France has the highest level of job seekers ever. The numbers are prompting a revisit of the austerity measures the countries have enacted.

The U.K. announced the first quarter saw growth of 0.3%, which was better than expected and it avoided falling into a third recession.

Apple’s first quarter earnings release helped ease investors concerns, but it posted its first drop in profits in a decade. The technology company posted strong gains in iPad and iPhone sales. The firm announced it would return $100 billion to investors through dividends and stock buy backs.

Netflix, Barclays, Boeing, Ford, Samsung and Proctor and Gamble all had positive earnings growth that beat expectations. However, a common theme during earnings announcements is firms offering a weak outlook.

Reposted from the Raffa Wealth Management Blog.

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

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