PERSONAL SPENDING IMPROVES, Q1 GDP POOR
Consumer spending rose 0.4% in March, the Commerce Department noted; that doubled the February advance. Personal incomes were flat, however. The Bureau of Economic Analysis said the economy grew 0.2% in the first quarter; in better news, private-sector wages rose 2.8% in Q1. Another major indicator stayed flat in April: the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory PMI again read just 51.5.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE POLLS GO DIFFERENT WAYS
April’s final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose 2.9 points off the final March reading to 95.9, its second-best mark since 2007. The Conference Board’s April consumer confidence poll came in at 95.2, a 4-month low.
PENDING HOME SALES, HOME PRICE GAINS MODERATE
According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales rose 1.1% for April, beating the 0.3% rise forecast by analysts polled by MarketWatch but down from March’s 3.6% advance. The 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed a 4.2% yearly gain for February, slightly weaker than the 4.4% rise for January.
STOCKS SLIP FOR THE WEEK
The weak Q1 GDP estimate and the April 29 Federal Reserve policy statement that did not quite close the door on a June rate hike were but two factors in the retreats for the major indices. Last week’s performances: S&P 500, -0.44% to 2,108.29; Dow, -0.31% to 18,024.06; Nasdaq, -1.70% to 5,005.39.
THIS WEEK: Key factory PMIs for China and the euro area arrive Monday, plus a report on March factory orders and earnings from AMC Networks, Tyson Foods, Cablevision, Avis Budget, Comcast, Denny’s, Health Net and MGM Resorts. Tuesday, earnings from Directv, Gulfport Energy, Papa John’s, Allstate, Electronic Arts, Estee Lauder, Fossil, Groupon, Herbalife, Hyatt Hotels, Kellogg, News Corp., Office Depot, Sprint, UBS, Walt Disney, Weight Watchers and WestJet accompany ISM’s March services PMI. Wednesday brings service sector PMIs for China and the euro area, ADP’s April jobs report, a Janet Yellen speech at a conference in Washington, and earnings from Tesla, Transocean, Spectra Energy, Choice Hotels, Anheuser-Busch, Chesapeake Energy, GlaxoSmithKline, Keurig Green Mountain, Marathon Oil, Motorola Solutions, MetLife, TripAdvisor, Wendy’s, 21st Century Fox and Whole Foods. Thursday, new initial claims figures are out plus earnings from Aramark, Norwegian Cruise Line, Monster, Alcatel-Lucent, Alibaba, ArcelorMittal, CBS, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kemper, Molson Coors and Zynga. Friday, the government’s April jobs report accompanies earnings from AOL and Tribune Media.