THURSDAY – Stocks were little changed at Thursday’s open as stronger-than-expected economic data were offset by talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un falling through.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just 11 points while the S&P 500 dipped around 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2 percent.
The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Economists polled by Dow Jones expected the economy to grow at a pace of 2.2 percent.
Investors were closely watching the summit in Vietnam as it could potentially impact trade negotiations between China and the U.S.
On Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified in front of House members that China needed to do more than just buy more U.S. goods for the two countries to strike a permanent trade deal. But Lighthizer said after the testimony, according to The Wall Street Journal, that formal steps would be taken to abandon plans of raising tariffs on Chinese goods.
The top unbiased Penny Stock Picks newsletter.
Gold gains as dollar dips amid Fed interest-rate uncertainty. https://t.co/0r6MunEIFK
What to expect from the new Apple iPhone https://t.co/KD6xDvOtgX
BA flyers are being delayed due to an IT glitch. Why system crashes are so hard to eliminate. https://t.co/LPLyzqLVfk
What BRExit? Economists raise UK GDP forecasts. https://t.co/fV5b0koW5A
Hope springs eternal among most stock strategists and Jeremy Zirin, chief equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management, is no exception. Zirin expects moderate gains in stocks this year and says the market will “continue to grind higher as the economy starts to improve.”
There are increasing signs that the economy is improving. The four-week moving average for initial unemployment claims has fallen to its lowest level since March 2008 and the housing market continues to gain momentum. Home prices and new home sales recently posted their biggest gains in 2.5 years and builder confidence has risen to its highest level in more than 6.5 years.
Zirin forecasts GDP growth of 2% to 2.5% this year. Growth will accelerate as Washington adopts new fiscal policies, says Zirin.