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The real Gross Domestic Product grew 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The deceleration was led by declines in Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) and nonresidential fixed investments but offset by increase in exports, private inventory investment and federal government spending. Real GDP grew 2.4% for the year 2015, the same rate as in 2014.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintained the target federal funds rate between 0.25% and 0.5% citing continued improvements in the labor market. However, the committee noted that inflation is far below its 2% target and that it expects it to remain low in near term because of declines in energy prices. The committee also stated that it is closely monitoring global economic conditions and their implications for US employment and inflation.
Sales of new single-family houses (new residential sales) increased 10.8% to 544,000 in December from 491,000 in November, 2015. An estimated 501,000 new houses were sold in 2015 compared to 437,000 in 2014—a 14.5% increase. The annual median sales price of new homes sold increased 3.8% for 2015 while the annual average sales price increased 2.8% from 2014.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) reported a 1.7% increase in revenue for Q1 2016 YoY. Net income rose 1.9% while diluted EPS increased 7.2% to $3.28 from $3.06 same quarter last year. The revenue increase was driven by services (up 26.2%), other products (up 61.8%), and iPhone (up 0.9%) but significantly offset by decreasing revenue from iPad and Mac sales (down 21.2% and 2.9% respectively). The number of iPhones sold rose 0.4% to 74.78 million from 74.47 million.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) recorded a 43.8% revenue increase and 25.4% net income growth for the year 2015. Diluted EPS rose 17.3% to $1.29 in 2015 from $1.10 in 2014. The number of worldwide Daily Active Users (DAUs) rose 16.6% to 1.038 billion in December, 2015 from 890 million in December, 2014 while the number of worldwide Monthly Active Users (MAUs) increased 14.2% to 1.591 billion in December, 2015 from 1.393 billion in December, 2014.
Amazon (NYSE: AMZN) posted an annual revenue increase of 20.2% for 2015. Net income went from a loss of $241 million in 2014 to a profit of $596 million 2015. Diluted earnings per share were $1.25 in 2015 from losses per share of $0.52 in 2014. The revenue growth was driven by increased service sales (up 46.7%) but checked by rising fulfilment (up 24.6%), technology and content costs (up a combined 35.2%).
Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) revenue for Q2 2016 fell 10.1% while net income fell 14.8% YoY. Consequently, diluted earnings per share dropped 12.7% to $0.62 from $0.71 the same quarter the previous year. The revenue decline was driven by falling revenue from productivity and business processes (down 1.9%), personal computing (down 4.7%) and corporate (down 683.7%) segments but buoyed, insignificantly, by revenue from cloud services (up 5%).
Looking ahead to next week, the following companies will be releasing their earnings results.