John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended April 30th
April was the fifth positive month out of the past six for the S&P 500, which rose more than 5%. The NASDAQ also added about 5% while the Dow rose nearly 3%. All 11 S&P 500 sectors posted positive results in April.
As of Friday, 86% of the S&P 500 companies that had reported first-quarter results exceeded analysts’ earnings estimates, according to FactSet. That so-called beat rate ranks above the 74% five-year average, and it’s currently the highest rate since FactSet began tracking that data in 2008. Results were in from 60% of S&P 500 companies.
The U.S. economy, as measured by GDP, is nearly back to its prepandemic size after recording its third consecutive quarter of robust growth. GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.4% in the first quarter, which put GDP within 1.0% of its historic peak reached in late 2019.
A monthly labor market update due out on Friday is likely to be the week’s most closely watched economic report. The new release will show whether the labor market in April maintained its strong momentum from March, when the U.S. economy generated 916,000 jobs, far exceeding expectations.