Market Recap for Week Ended April 27:
With more than half of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported first-quarter results, the index was on track to post earnings growth of 23% over the same quarter a year ago, according to FactSet. At the start of earnings season, profits were expected to rise around 18%.
The U.S. government’s initial estimate of first-quarter GDP growth showed the economy expanded at a 2.3% annual rate, marking the second quarterly slowdown in a row. Most economists had predicted a pullback, and Friday’s figure was slightly higher than expected. In last year’s fourth quarter, growth was 2.9%.
The yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond reached 3.00% on Tuesday for the first time since January 2014, then climbed further on Wednesday to 3.03% as bond prices continued to decline. The yield ended last year at 2.40%, and it’s been pushed higher in 2018 amid expectations of further interest-rate increases.
U.K. growth stalls
The United Kingdom’s economy slowed to almost a standstill in the first quarter, declining to a 0.1% annual rate and marking the nation’s weakest quarter in more than five years. Growth was much slower than the nation’s central bank had expected.