After weeks of large swings each way, stocks and bonds barely budged last week. The S&P 500 was flat, and the global MSCI ACWI slipped 0.3%. The Bloomberg BarCap Aggregate Bond Index was also unchanged.
Key points for the week
- U.S. GDP beat expectations on strong investment results.
- Results were lower than the fourth quarter but surpassed previous first quarters.
- Initial jobless claims hit a 50-year low.
First-quarter GDP growth was moderate relative to 2017 at 2.3% but still beat expectations (1.8%). Growth was fueled by cheaper commodity prices and reduced corporate taxes.
The first quarter is typically slow as consumer spending growth stagnates after the holiday season. This quarter’s consumer spending growth was the lowest in five years even though jobs are plentiful. Initial jobless claims hit their lowest levels in the last 50 years. The strong jobs environment and recently passed fiscal stimulus give analysts reason to believe the sluggish consumer spending is temporary.
Fun story of the week
Some workplaces participate in “Take Your Dog to Work Day” to make the office more enjoyable for employees. But at Amazon, bring your dog to work day is every day. During a typical workday, approximately 6,000 dogs are present in Amazon headquarters. The dog who pioneered the dog-friendly corporate culture was Rufus, who became such a beloved presence that his colleagues used his paw to click the mouse and launch important projects. Rufus’s resume is impressive but not as impressive as our very own Nelly, who is climbing the corporate ladder at Carson. She started as an intern and now sits as the company’s CCO (Chief Comfort Officer).
This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
S&P 500 INDEX
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
MSCI ACWI INDEX
The MSCI ACWI captures large- and mid-cap representation across 23 developed markets (DM) and 23 emerging markets (EM) countries*. With 2,480 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the global investable equity opportunity set.
Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index
The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is an index of the U.S. investment-grade fixed-rate bond market, including both government and corporate bonds.