Assessing health, wealth of US economy: Forget recession, at least for now

The health and wealth of the US economy: The economy is on solid footing. The labor market is strong. Earnings are beating expectations. But what are investors expecting the scorecard to look like for the second quarter?

Although worries about an impending recession have subsided, it might still be hard for the economy to keep up its recent streak of success. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite have set a number of records over the past few weeks. And market watchers believe we’re going to see more. The Dow could also set a new all-time high as the year goes on.

Economic growth is not expected to fall of a cliff this quarter. Wall Street by and large believes that the economy has more to give. The consensus estimate is 1.7% growth between April and July, according to the Atlanta Fed.

Led by top tech stocks, US economy shaping up stronger than expected

In the first three months of the year, the economy expanded thanks to growing inventories and exports — more volatile factors than, for example, consumer spending. If those factors drop in the second quarter, it could be a drag on the economy.

“Second quarter GDP has the potential to be a disappointment. Inventories will be a drag on GDP over the next two quarters,” said Omar Aguilar, CIO for equities and multi-asset strategies at Charles Schwab Investment Management.

That said, consumer sentiment could come to the rescue, outweighing any negative impact from inventories. US consumers were not very spendthrift in the first quarter, but that spending could pick up this quarter.

The Federal Reserve, for its part, doesn’t seem to see red flags. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has remained committed to his “patient” approach to policy changes, despite

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