Wednesday the Federal Reserve concluded its July two-day policy meeting leaving its key interest rate target range unchanged, as expected. Estimates of the second quarter growth in economies have begun being reported. In the United Kingdom, a “notable slowdown” occurred in the pace of growth with its preliminary second quarter estimate coming in at 0.3% annualized. The United States preliminary estimate of second quarter GDP growth came in at 2.6% annualized putting annual growth for the first half of 2017 at roughly 1.9%. This number trails the average yearly advance of 2.2% through the end of 2016 in the current, prolonged recovery.
Second quarter earnings from major companies around the globe continue to dominate market headlines. The U.S. large company stock index was practically unchanged from the start of the busiest week in reported earnings. Although increases in revenue and profit continue to be the trend for most, broad technology shares weighed on the index as they failed to meet market expectation for the highly advancing sector this year. International stocks continue their outperformance of domestic by a wide margin. Treasury yields remain low compared to historical levels while anticipation rests on the pace depth of the Federal Reserves planned shrinking of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.
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