Stocks closed lower on Friday, possibly as a form of relief after massive gains earlier in the week, finishing with minor losses, but with their second straight weekly gain.
After what promised to be a week of rancor and argument turned into a mere smattering of name-calling and finger-pointing, investors seemed unfazed by what didn't happen in Washington. The first estimate of first quarter GDP also added to the disappointment, coming in at the worst in three years, showing paltry 0.7% growth. That probably had more to do with Friday's decline than anything the government did or did not do.
The poor reading on the economy follows a similarly bad reading in the March non-farm payroll report, which showed the US economy stalling out a bit, adding just 98,000 jobs, a big miss on rosy estimates.
If the overall economic figures continue to flag, it will be difficult for the Fed to raise interest rates any further and probably not at the May FOMC meeting, which happens to be this week, Tuesday and Wednesday, May 2 and 3. A stalled-out economy may also keep the Fed on hold until the fall. The FOMC meets on June 13-14 and again on July 25-26. After that, they don't meet again until September.
The politicians have failed to pass any meaningful legislation, ObamaCare is still the law of the land, the congress continues to borrow money despite the highest tax receipts in history, and, if not for steady winnings in stocks, the American people would be up in arms over the lack of purpose and dignity in the halls of congress.
If, by some stroke of good fortune, the government would cease to exist on a semi-permanent basis, it might spark a rally on Wall Street the likes of which have never been seen. Since what the current federal government consists of does nothing for the betterment of the American citizen, perhaps it should declare itself ineffective and incompetent, and finally shut itself down.
We can only hope...
At the Close, 4/28/17:
Dow: 20,940.51, -40.82 (-0.19%)
NASDAQ: 6,047.61, -1.33 (-0.02%)
S&P 500: 2,384.20, -4.57 (-0.19%)
NYSE Composite: 11,536.08, -42.44 (-0.37%)
For the week:
Dow: +392.75 (1.91%)
NASDAQ: +137.08 (2.32%)
S&P 500: +35.53 (1.51%)
NYSE Composite: +146.95 (1.29%)