Jobless Claims Fall to 50-Year Low, The IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecasts, Q1 Earnings Season Kicks Off.
  • SHARE
Top Three Market Headlines


Jobless Claims Fall to 50-Year Low:
Jobless claims in the U.S. fell by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted mark of 196,000 for the week ended April 6, which was the first time since 1969 that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell below 200,000. The trailing four-week average of claims, which is more stable than the weekly measure, also registered its lowest level since 1969, at 207,000. While economists project that U.S. economic growth slowed in Q1 (as measured by real, or inflation-adjusted, gross domestic product), the jobless claims data and other employment measures―including the rate of hiring, wage increases and the unemployment rate―indicate that the labor market has remained a bright spot of the U.S. economy.

The IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecasts: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week cut its global economic growth forecast for 2019 to 3.3%, down from 3.5% in January and 3.7% in October. Among individual countries/regions, forecast revisions included declines of 0.5 percentage points each for Germany, Italy and Mexico, 0.6 percentage points for Latin America, 0.4 percentage points for Canada, 0.3 percentage points for the U.K and 0.9 percentage points for the Middle East. Key contributing factors to the IMF’s lowered forecasts include on-going trade tensions, declining business confidence, tightening financial conditions and geopolitical events in Europe, including the Brexit process, political instability in Italy and protests in France.

Q1 Earnings Season Kicks Off: The Q1 2019 earnings reporting season kicked off last week and was highlighted by strong reports from J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo, each of which reported Q1 earnings that exceeded Wall Street analysts’ estimates. Investors particularly cheered J.P. Morgan’s report, driving its stock up nearly 5% on Friday. Heading into earnings reporting season, analysts expect S&P 500 companies, most of which will report their Q1 earnings results over the next few weeks, in the aggregate to post a year-over-year decline in EPS of approximately 4% in Q1 (per FactSet), as the effects of the late-2017 corporate tax cuts roll off and companies face pressures from rising labor and energy costs as well as a stronger U.S. dollar.

As of April 12, 2019

Week

Quarter-To-Date

Year-To-Date

One-Year

MSCI All Country World

0.48%

2.59%

15.08%

4.05%

S&P 500

0.56%

2.66%

16.67%

11.34%

Russell 2000

0.16%

2.96%

17.98%

3.16%

MSCI EAFE

0.28%

2.28%

12.49%

-3.16%

MSCI Emerging Markets

0.40%

2.99%

13.20%

-5.18%

FTSE NAREIT

0.17%

1.27%

17.81%

24.33%

Bloomberg Commodity

0.46%

2.09%

8.55%

-5.09%

Barclays Aggregate

-0.12%

-0.41%

2.52%

4.30%


Marketwatch 4/11/19, WSJ 4/9/19, FactSet 4/12/19. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation.