Analysts

Towards the end of 2018, most analysts looked bearish on the global economy as well as financial markets. The pessimism wasn’t totally unfounded. The tax-cut-fueled stimulus was fast fading in the United States, while the Chinese economy looked headed for a hard landing. The Federal Reserve also spooked markets by raising rates four times last year. The US-China trade spat also negatively impacted sentiments, and we saw cutbacks in businesses investment plans.

Analysts Raise US Growth Forecast after Strong Data

Ready to put your morning scrolling to use? Sign up for Bagels & Stox, our witty take on the top market and investment news straight to your inbox! Whether you’re a serious investor or just want to be informed, Bagels & Stox will be your favorite email.

However, 2019 is turning out to be the exact opposite of what most observers forecast last year. US equity markets have rebounded, and the S&P 500 (SPY) and NASDAQ Composite (QQQ) have gained 15.9% and 20.5%, respectively, year-to-date. Commodities have also looked strong, as risk appetite has improved amid reasonably strong economic data.

Data points

While US first-quarter manufacturing output disappointed markets, some of the recent data points like employment figures, export data, and March retail sales have been better than expected, prompting analysts to raise their first-quarter GDP forecast. CNBC reported that “Economists surveyed by CNBC/Moody’s Analytics Rapid Update raised their growth estimates by 0.3 percentage points to a median 2.4%” It added, “Their median forecast was under 2% just several days ago and was at a low of 1% earlier in the quarter.”

While the US economy has looked strong, China’s economic indicators have been resilient too. Earlier this year, Apple (AAPL), NVIDIA (NVDA), and Caterpillar (CAT) had warned that China’s slowdown was hurting their earnings.

Latest articles

Marathon Petroleum (MPC) stock has been tumbling in Q3, driven by geopolitical tensions, oil price uncertainty, and weaker refining conditions.

This week, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson noted that AT&T (T) is on track to reduce its leverage multiple to about 2.5x by the end of this year.

Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon had placed an order of 100,000 electric delivery vans from Michigan-based startup Rivian.

Bad news on the trade war front appears to have led to a fall in the broader US equity markets today. Cannabis ETFs were also trading in the red.

Energy Transfer (ET) stock has recovered in the last two trading sessions after investors hammered it on its plans to acquire SemGroup (SEMG).

Software-as-a-service company Datadog (DDOG) made a smashing debut on Wall Street yesterday. After its IPO, DDOG's shares surged 40% in intraday trading.