On Friday, we got a first look at what the U.S. economic output during Q1 2019, and the results toppled expectations at 3.2% year over year GDP growth versus 2.5% expected. This happened in the wake of trade uncertainty, a stock market which cratered in December and a partial government shutdown. Optimism had turned during the quarter when the Federal Reserve lowered its interest rate hike guidance, Chinese economic growth beat expectations and trade uncertainty subsided. This helped propel domestic markets back to all-time highs twice this week – the first time since before the end of year meltdown.
U.S. corporate earnings or the first quarter continue to pour in, and Microsoft’s strong results kicked it to the rank of world’s most valuable public company and joined the $1 trillion valuation club. Apple and Amazon were the first companies to reach this level but have fallen from their all time highs. Domestic equities across the board remain on the rise during 2019 along with international developed stocks and emerging markets shown by double digit YTD returns. Fixed income investments have posted positive results as the Treasury Yield curve sits at a partially inverted level and is slightly greater than a month prior.
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