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01 May 2021
3 min read

Markets Weekly Recap

Markets Weekly Recap

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Key Takeaways

  • Big tech reporting and bright economic data steer the week
  • Joe Biden celebrates 100 days as the US President

The last week of April brought a series of fortunate events to the markets, ranging from new records in indexes to monster corporate earnings to positive US economic data and a promising outlook toward the future. Big tech defined the earnings season this week as high-flying technology companies reported record growth in net income, earnings per share, and total revenue.

Tesla kickstarted the string of earnings releases this week as the EV maker reported first-quarter results on Monday, after the bell. Afterwards, Google’s Alphabet and Microsoft joined, followed by Apple and Facebook. To cap the strong week of tech earnings, Amazon delivered financial results late Thursday.

All six heavyweights reported strong gains in profit and revenue, highlighting how the pandemic has helped push tech products and services to the forefront of consumer and business activities around the world.

Fed Remains Committed to Current Monetary Policy

Adding to the optimism, the US economy produced robust growth for the first quarter. The GDP report for the period of January through March arrived at 6.4%, leaving the US economy just 1% below its pre-pandemic size. The rapid economic growth propelled the S&P500 to a new record later in the week, while the other two benchmark indexes, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq Composite, float just below their records. The week also provided investors with renewed confidence the US economy is picking up. The accelerating economic recovery was underscored by the latest weekly jobless claims, which fell by 13,000 to 553,000, indicating the labor market is rebounding. The latest figures are the lowest since the start of the pandemic more than a year ago.

During the week, President Biden reached his first 100 days in office. To celebrate the milestone, Joe Biden made a speech to Congress on Thursday. In it, he declared “America is ready for a takeoff” as he presented his new proposal for spending on infrastructure, education, child care, and paid leave, all aimed to boost the economy and raise the living standard across the states.

Mid-week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave a press conference following the conclusion of the two-day FOMC meeting. In his remarks, Mr. Powell affirmed the Fed is making no changes to its monetary policy. He said the central bank is leaving interest rates near zero, while also recommitting to its asset purchases worth $120bn per month, at least for the foreseeable future.

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