The Commerce Department reported on Gross Domestic Product data today amid more earnings news. The headline number of 2.1% growth beat the forecasted 1.9% but was down from Q1's 3.1% . Within the data, a large discrepancy appeared between manufacturing and consumers. The former is broadly lagging while the latter is spending: up 4.3% from 1.1% in the first quarter and contributing to a 3% rise in final sales.
The data did nothing to dissuade economists from their call for interest rate cut at the July 31 FOMC meeting. Futures on the size of the cut currently show 30 basis points of easing, which indicates a 60% chance of a 50 basis point cut.
Some big earnings announcements late Thursday and today as Alphabet, McDonalds, Starbucks, and Twitter beat earnings expectations. This continues the trend of companies beating their forecasted profits this quarter, with 3 in 4 companies doing so thus far at close to the halfway point in this earnings season. Stocks were up across all major indexes with NASDAQ leading the pack at just over a 1% gain.
Adding to the momentum of the day, the U.S. Justice Department approved the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint Corp. Shares in both companies were up sharply. The only stipulation was that the wireless carriers divest certain assets to Dish Network Corp., whose stock also rose on the news.
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