• Category: News

US Stocks Rise As Growth Rate Is Revised Upward

At the end of trading on Thursday, stocks in the US climbed after the economy’s performance received an upward revision.

US Stocks Rise As Growth Rate Is Revised Upward

According to reports by the Commerce Department, the US economy grew at an annual pace of 2.1% in the last quarter of 2016, up from the estimated 1.9%.

At the close of trading, the Dow Jones climbed 69.17 points to finish at 20,728.49.

The S&P 500 climbed 6.93 points to close at 2,368.06. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ edged 16.80 points to finish at 5,914.34.

Sportswear company Lululemon Athletica, saw the biggest fall on the NASDAQ to close down by 23.44% following indications that sales were set to fall. 

In a statement, the company said that same store sales would likely fall at the start of the year, a first since 2009.

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On the S&P 500, ConocoPhillips shares were the best performers climbing by 8.8% after the company announced that it would be selling its natural gas assets and oil sands in western Canada to Cenovus Energy for an estimated 7.7 billion Canadian dollars.

Several energy companies including Marathon Oil and Royal Dutch Shell have been scaling back their operations with most selling their oil sands as high extraction costs eat into profits in this sector. 

An increase in oil prices has however seen a rise in the value of shares in the energy sector.

West Texas Intermediate climbed 1.7% to close at $50.37 while Brent Crude edged 1% to close at $52.94.

Reports by the Commerce Department show that consumer spending from which two thirds of US economic activity comes, performed better than was initially expected.

However, the economy still witnessed slow growth in its third quarter rate of 3.5%.

The upward revision did not change the entire 2016 growth rate, which was the slowest since 2011 at 1.6%.

US President Donald Trump had promised to grow the economy by 4% through capital expenditure and tax cuts. However, the sluggish growth could make it difficult to attain these goals.

The last time the US economy came close to growing at 4% was in 2000 at the peak of the dotcom boom.

According to analysts, the slow growing GDP rates are now becoming the norm. As such, the rate at which the US economy is growing should be seen as fairly good. 

Mr. Trump’s view of the economy is yet to be proven wrong or right but  generally, the US economy seems to be doing well supported by positive unemployment reports and robust consumer confidence.

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