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Real GDP came in at a disappointing 0.5% for Q1 2016. The lackluster growth was driven by a 1.2% increase in government spending, and a 1.9% increase in consumer spending but checked by a 3.5% fall in business investment and a widening trade deficit (exports fell 2.6% while imports increased 0.2%). The savings rate rose to 5.2% as large purchases, such as cars and appliances, declined 1.6%. However, investment in new housing climbed 14.8%, an increase not seen in nearly four years.
The Federal Reserve kept the federal funds target rate unchanged at their April meeting. The vote was 9-1. The rate will remain at 0.25% to 0.5%. The FOMC stated that the economy “appears to have slowed” in the light of weak business investment and exports while the labor market and housing show improvements. The committee also noted that inflation continues to run below the Fed’s 2% target. The statement did not offer any suggestion of a rate hike at the FOMC’s June meeting.
Unemployment claims rose by 9,000 to 257,000 but remained below expectations for the week of April 23. The average number of initial claims in the last four weeks was 256,000, the lowest level in 42 years. Additionally, the four week average for continued claims declined 10,500 to 2, 157,500 from the preceding week. Overall, the report supports the view of a strong labor market.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) reported a 12.8% drop in revenue and a 22.5% net income drop for Q2 2016 YoY. Diluted EPS fell 18.5% to $1.90 from $2.33 YoY. Declining iPhone, iPad and Mac sales drove the revenue drop checked, insignificantly, by increasing service (Apple Care, etc.) and other product (Apple Watch, etc.) sales. The number of iPhones, iPads, and Macs sold fell 16%, 19% and 12% respectively. Revenue declined in all regions except Japan where service sales were higher.
Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) announced a 5.3% revenue increase and a 3.6% net income increase for Q1 2016 YoY. Diluted EPS rose 7.4% to $0.87 from $0.81 the same quarter the previous year. Customer relationships increased 2.7% to 27.97 million from 27.23 million driven by a 6.2% increase in internet subscribers, a 2.7% increase in voice subscribers and a 0.1% increase in video subscribers. For NBC, theme parks and distribution revenue increased due to higher contract rates and visitor spending.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) posted a 51.9% and a 195.7% rise in revenue and net income, respectively, for Q1 2016 YoY. Diluted EPS rose 188.9% to $0.52 from $0.18 YoY. Worldwide daily active users (DAUs) grew 16.5% to 1.090 billion from 0.936 billion while worldwide monthly active users (MAUs) increased 14.8% to 1.654 billion in March, 2016 from 1.441 billion in March, 2015. Additionally, worldwide mobile daily active users rose 23.9% to 989 million from 798 million YoY.
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) recorded a 28.2% growth in revenue for Q1 2016 YoY. Net income went from a loss of $57 million to a profit of $513 million while diluted EPS turned positive coming in at $1.07 from a negative of $0.12 YoY. Revenue was up across all product and service segments i.e. media (up 8%), electronics and general merchandise (up 31%), AWS (up 64%) and other (up 41%). Losses from the online store rose to $1.455 billion from $1.01 billion as shipping costs increased.
Monday May 2 — ISM Manufacturing Index (tracks manufacturing)
Wednesday May 4 — International Trade (a measure of foreign trade)