GDP — What you need to know in markets on Friday

Markets Reporter
Yahoo Finance

To cap a busy week for corporate news, investors will be greeted by the week’s most important economic report. And that is the first look at second quarter GDP.

Wall Street economists are forecasting the U.S. economy grew at an annualized pace of 4.2% in the second three-month period of the year, more than double the rate seen in the first quarter. This would mark the best quarter of economic growth since the third quarter of 2014.

In an interview with Fox Business on Thursday, Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s chief economic advisor, said, “You’re going to get a very good economic growth number tomorrow. Big.” Given the administration’s history with playing fast and loose with teasing upcoming economic data they have already seen, some may view Kudlow’s comments as a sign Friday’s GDP figures may top expectations. 

Recall that before the June jobs report, Trump essentially leaked what turned out to be a strong jobs number in a tweet. And speaking at an event on Thursday, Trump said of the GDP number, “If it has a 4 in front of it, we’re happy.”

Joe Lavorgna, chief economist of the America at Natixis, said in a note Thursday that he expects GDP grew at an annualized rate of 4.7% in the second quarter with consensus indicating a year-on-year increase in real GDP of 3.1%. This would mark the fastest year-on-year growth rate since 2015.

But Lavorgna adds that after that high water mark three years ago, growth quickly decelerated. Now, however, the passage of tax cuts and the impacts of deregulation are likely to keep economic growth accelerating in the quarters ahead.

This is likely to please the president.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about trade at the Granite City Works steel coil warehouse in Granite City, Illinois, U.S., July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about trade at the Granite City Works steel coil warehouse in Granite City, Illinois, U.S., July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Outside of the GDP numbers, the economic schedule will also bring investors the final reading on consumer sentiment in July from the University of Michigan.

And on the earnings calendar, the blockbuster week for corporate results will finish off with earnings out of Twitter (TWTR), Merck (MRK), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Phillips 66 (PSX), Moody’s (MCO), AbbVie (ABBV), Weyerhouser (WY), and Colgate-Palmolive (CL).

Investors will also be tracking the performance of Amazon (AMZN), which was up about 4% in after hours trade on Thursday after its quarterly earnings beat expectations though revenues came in a bit light.

Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MylesUdland

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