A Week of Noisy Data
As confusing as the economic news was this week, year-over-year trends are still consistent with a 2.0%-2.25% U.S. GDP growth rate in 2013.
With not that much economic news this week, markets spent most of their time focusing on the possibility of war in Syria and the Federal Reserve Open Markets meeting next week. The news that some type of chemical weapons agreement might be worked out, instead of an actual bombing, took away some of the "safe haven" interest in U.S. bonds, which caused interest rates to surge to almost 3.0% at one point this week.
Equities liked the Syria news and also anticipated that weaker economic news might lead to a smaller-than-anticipated tapering of the Federal Reserve bond-buying purchases. Corporate news was not so hot, as Apple's (AAPL) new phones got a mixed reception, hurting the tech sector. Financials were also under some pressure as poor mortgage refinancing results began to weigh on both employment growth and corporate profits.
Robert Johnson, CFA does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.