The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism posted another historically high reading in April, but expectations for future business conditions plunged by eight points, a sign that business owners were shaken by Congress’ failure at the end of March to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Index dipped 0.2 points April, settling at 104.5. April was the sixth straight month for historically high optimism, a hot streak not seen since 1983.
Strong earnings season got even better last week. S&P 500 earnings for the first quarter rose more than 1% over the past week and are now tracking to a 14.7% year-over-year increase, compared with the 10.2% increase in estimates. Both the earnings growth and beat rates (75%) are the best in more than five years. Excluding the rebounding energy sector, earnings are still on pace to grow a solid 10.5% year over year. About 40 S&P 500 companies will report results this week as earnings season winds down. (LPL Research)
Up three weeks in a row. On Friday, the S&P 500 closed at its first all-time high since March 1 and in the process rose for the third consecutive week. It was also the first green Friday for the S&P 500 in nearly two months. This was the second three-week win streak of the year, with the earlier streak making it all the way to six weeks in a row. There hasn't been a year with two separate six-week win streaks since 2013. (LPL Research)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.