Slower US GDP Growth Expected In Friday’s First-Quarter Report

The pace of US economic output is set to soften in the government’s “advance” GDP report for the first quarter that’s scheduled for release at the end of this week (Apr. 27), according to several estimates compiled by The projection for Friday’s update puts the economy on track to post a slowdown in Q1 growth vs. the previous quarters for the third straight year.
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Macro Briefing: 24 April 2018

Iran issues warning as French President Macron meets Trump: WaPo
Senate panel endorses Pompeo for Secretary of State: The Hill
Will 3% yield on 10-year Treasury reshape investing landscape? Bloomberg
Brent oil above $75 for first time since 2014: MarketWatch
US existing home sales up more than expected in March: AP
Chicago Fed Nat’l Activty Index: US growth moderated in March: Chicago Fed
Eurozone PMI: business activity continued to rise “solid pace in April: IHS Markit
Survey data points to “solid” private sector output in April: IHS Markit

Macro Briefing: 23 April 2018

Peace talks in Korea pose new challenge for Trump administration: The Hill
Trump mistakenly claimed that N. Korea will denuclearize: CNBC
Russia, Ukraine top agenda at G7 meeting of foreign diplomats: Reuters
Will China be sidelined in upcoming US-Korea meetings? NY Times
Supreme Court to hear a challenge to Trump’s travel ban this week: Reuters
Sen. Booker introduced bill offering gov’t jobs for everyone who wants one: Vox
US income inequality due to gains in top-20% of income distribution: VoxEU
Nearly 80% of S&P 500 firms will report Q1 earnings above expectations: Reuters
Will big-tech stocks continue to support US equity market? MarketWatch
Are financial market warning signs starting to flash? The Economist
How will SEC’s new “best-interest” standard affect finance industry? Bloomberg
The wealthy are willing to pay for and expect a longer life: Bloomberg

Book Bits | 21 April 2018

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence
By Ajay Agrawal, et al.
Essay by authors via Harvard Business Review
There is no shortage of hot takes regarding the significant impact that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to have on business in the near future. Much less has been written about how, exactly, companies should get started with it. In our research and in our book, we begin by distilling AI down to its very simplest economics, and we offer one approach to taking that first step.
We start with a simple insight: Recent developments in AI are about lowering the cost of prediction. AI makes prediction better, faster, and cheaper. Not only can you more easily predict the future (What’s the weather going to be like next week?), but you can also predict the present (what is the English translation of this Spanish website?). Prediction is about using information you have to generate information you don’t have. Anywhere you have lots of information (data) and want to filter, squeeze, or sort it into insights that will facilitate decision making, prediction will help get that done. And now machines can do it.
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Macro Briefing: 20 April 2018

Trump’s trade policies pinch US economic optimism: Bloomberg
N. Korea drops demand that US troops withdraw ahead of talks: Time
Cuba’s new president vows to maintain communism for the island nation: DW
IMF warns of trade-war risk for global economy: The Hill
US will fine Wells Fargo $1 billion for various misdeeds: NY Times
US Leading Economic Index in March points to “robust economic growth”: WSJ
US jobless claims fell slightly last week, near 45-year low: MarketWatch
Philly Fed Mfg Index: expansion continues amid rising costs: Bond Buyer
Most ultra-rich investors expect a US recession within two years: CNBC
Hedge fund assets reach record high: Institutional Investor
US 10-year Treasury yield approaching 3.0% for 2nd time in 2018: Bloomberg

Macro Briefing: 19 April 2018

South Korea’s president: N. Korea seeking “complete denuclearization”: Reuters
Trump highlights perilous aspect of possible US-N. Korea meeting: CBS
NY attorney general investigating cryptocurrency exchanges: CNBC
Fed’s Beige Book reflects concerns about possible trade tariffs: MarketWatch
Oil prices rise to highest level since late-2014: Reuters
Policy sensitive 2yr Treasury yield ticks up to new 10yr high: 2.42%

Small Cap Stocks Top Large Cap, Value Trails Growth Year To Date

It’s been a volatile year so far for stocks, but two big-picture trends are clear in 2018 for two widely followed subsets of the broad market. First, small-cap shares are enjoying a solid run over large caps. Value stocks, by contrast, continue to suffer vs. shares of growth companies, based on year-to-date performances via a set of exchange-traded funds.
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