John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended April 23rd
Earnings season continued to exceed expectations. Profits at companies in the S&P 500 were expected to rise 33.8% as of Friday, based on the roughly one-quarter of companies that have reported so far and forecasts for upcoming reports, according to FactSet. That rate would mark the highest year-over-year earnings growth since the third quarter of 2010, when growth was 34.0%.
Despite mostly positive economic indicators and strong earnings results, the major stock indexes were slightly negative. For the S&P 500 and the Dow, the modest setback snapped a four-week string of gains that had pushed the indexes to record highs.
GDP on tap
The U.S. government’s initial estimate of first-quarter GDP growth is scheduled to be released Thursday. Most economists are expecting that GDP growth accelerated from the fourth quarter’s 4.3% rate as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged—and at a near-zero level—when it concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday. Fed statements will be closely watched for any discussion of balancing inflation concerns with intentions to maintain current monetary policies throughout 2021.