Weekly Market Commentary April 30, 2018

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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.

Economic News

Source: CNBC

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

Amazon’s Headquarters Has Over 6,000 Dogs

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).


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