Is Economic Growth Slowing – Is This Bull Market About To End?

US economic growth was expected to improve in 2017 but the initial release of the first quarter GDP was less than stellar. And bond yields declined recently – is this a forewarning of a weaker economy and what are the impacts on the equity markets?

Our perception of the weaker than anticipated Q1 2017 GDP growth is that it fits a pattern of the last several years where the first or second quarter has been the low point of the year. Any concerns about consumer spending which was weak in Q1 2017? Our view is the lull in consumer spending is temporary – the data is preliminary and will likely be revised upwards. We anticipate the trends of lower productivity growth and higher labor costs of the past few years are at the point to drive increasing capital investments for greater productivity, and continued job growth. These major trends will support GDP growth for the next few years. In the process there may be lulls and sparks, but we are not close to the top of this economic cycle or the end of this Bull market, in our opinion.

For the top performing companies in April on the Singular Research coverage list, several have forecasts of consistent revenue and earnings growth while others are rebounding after recent weakness.

Control4 Corp (CTRL) was the strongest performer in April. The company provides smart home and business solutions that integrates audio, video, lighting, temperature, security, and communications. The company has consistently been beating estimates. Century Casinos (CNTY) has casino operations in a diverse set of venues including cruise ships and horse racing. CNTY reported a strong Q4 with adjusted EBITDA up 40%. Arotech (ARTX) provides innovative defense and security solutions for government agencies and commercial users. The stock is rebounding from a recent dip. Multi-Color Corp. (LABL) makes labels for consumer products, and our analyst is forecasting consistent revenue and earnings growth in the next year. The stock is rebounding from a recent dip. Anika Therapeutics (ANIK) provides treatments for early stage osteoarthritic joints with its innovative products. The company has been consistently gaining share in the viscosupplement market.

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