Market Update: Thursday, March 30, 2017


  • Stocks flat despite upbeat GDP data. (9:58am ET) Equity markets are largely unchanged this morning as traders weigh an upward revision to Q4 gross domestic product (GDP) alongside a policy spotlight shift to proposed infrastructure spending and tax reform. Yesterday, the S&P 500 (+0.1%) closed slightly higher, in large part due to the energy sector (+1.2%), which climbed along with oil prices. Other sector moves were muted, with the largest coming from consumer discretionary (+0.6%), financials (-0.5%), and utilities (-0.4%).  Overseas, Asian markets dipped (Shanghai Composite -1.0%, Nikkei -0.8%, Hang Seng -0.4%) as the People’s Bank of China tightens liquidity in the banking system. In Europe, stocks are higher (STOXX 600 +0.2%) on oil company gains.  Elsewhere, COMEX gold ($1248/oz.) is off 0.4%, WTI crude oil ($49.80/barrel) continues to rebound, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note is flat at 2.39%.


  • Third estimate of Q4 GDP edges higher. Real GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2016 was revised slightly higher in the most recent estimate from 1.9% to 2.1%. The upward revision was mainly driven by a better picture of consumer spending. The first estimate of GDP for the first quarter of 2017 will be released on April 28, with expectations tracking to another quarter of near 2% growth. Looking out to the rest of the year, rising business and consumer confidence based on prospects of growth-friendly policy may help push GDP growth to near 2.5% for all of 2017.
  • Weekly jobless claims see slight drop. Data released this morning on initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending March 24 showed a decrease of 3,000 from the prior week’s revised 261,000, yet still exceeded consensus expectations of 247,000, making this the fourth straight week data came in higher than expected. Still, claims remain comfortably below 300,000, which is generally associated with a healthy labor market.


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