Daily Market Color

US Financial Markets Fluctuate with Mixed Economic Data

US economic data releases on the day were plentiful, beginning this morning with the Commerce Department’s second estimate of Q1 GDP.  The revised figure came out at +1.2%, an upgrade from the initial release of +0.7%, for the annualized gross domestic product growth rate.  An upward adjustment to consumer spending accounted for the bulk of the difference between readings, as it doubled from +0.3% to +0.6%, helping improve the perception of a generally soft quarterly performance.  Moving forward to Q2, a separate report showed new goods orders declining 0.7% during April, which somewhat contradicted last week’s strong data on industrial production for the same time period.  Core capital goods orders remained unchanged MoM, falling below expectations of +0.2% and indicating a more mild outlook for business spending plans in the near term.  Shipments of core capital goods, an input to GDP calculations, declined 0.1% last month.  Lastly, the University of Michigan released its final reading of consumer sentiment for May, coming in at 97.1 and confirming a positive consumer outlook for the economy.  Compared to levels from a year ago, consumer views on current economic conditions increased by 1.6%, and the index of expectations rose 3.3%, despite the continued divide in opinion/outlook between consumers from the two major political parties.    

Trading activity was muted in today’s shortened session heading into the holiday weekend.  US Treasurys held within a tight range, with the yield on the 10-year note poised to finish the week near 2.25%.  All three major stock indices are also roughly unchanged on the day, ending a streak of six consecutive positive sessions.  The US dollar edged higher, up 0.1% vs. major currencies, boosted by gains against the British pound, which posted a 1.2% loss after advance polls displayed a tightening ahead of next month’s snap general election.  Theresa May’s Conservatives currently hold a 43-38 lead over the Labour Party, which represents a significant narrowing from the 24-point advantage they held earlier this month.  Oil reversed a portion of yesterday’s 5% tumble, as WTI crude gained 1.6% during today’s session to $49.70/barrel.  

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