Here are the top news, trends, and analysis that investors need to get their trading day started:
People walk past the New York Stock Exchange in New York City on April 15, 2021.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Contractors install floor joists on the foundation of a home under construction in Lehi, Utah, December 16, 2020.
George Frey | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Blowout March retail sales Thursday helped raise stocks – and on Friday, investors took a look at the glowing housing market. The trade department said March housing starts rose 19.4%, beating estimates. Building permits rose 2.7% and fell short of expectations. Privately owned residential completions in March rose 16.6%. Builders have been ramping up construction lately, and new government covid incentives could fuel that trend.
China reported gross domestic product slightly below expectations in the first quarter as industrial production disappointed but retail sales exceeded estimates. GDP increased by 18.3% In the first three months of the year compared to the previous year, the Chinese statistical office announced on Friday. In the first quarter of last year, the economy contracted 6.8% – during the peak of the domestic Covid outbreak.
A physical therapist fits an oxygen mask on a patient with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the intensive care unit of the Parelheiros Municipal Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 8, 2021.
Amanda Perobelli | Reuters
The head of the World Health Organization said that on Friday an alarming trend The rise in Covid cases has caused infections around the world to reach their highest level ever. In the US, weekly cases are well below their all-time highs, but are in line with levels seen during the summer surge. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told People will probably need a booster dose of a Covid vaccine within 12 months of being fully vaccinated. Bourla said it is possible that annual vaccinations against the coronavirus will also be necessary.
5. The death of a gunman shoots at least 8 people in the FedEx facility in Indianapolis and kills himself
At least eight people died after a shooter opened fire on a FedEx Established in Indianapolis late Thursday and then killed itself, city police said. FedEx said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members. … We are fully cooperating with law enforcement agencies.” Last week, President Joe Biden announced a series of executive measures aimed at tackling an epidemic he has dubbed the national armed violence epidemic. In March alone, 18 people were killed in two mass shootings in the Atlanta area and Boulder, Colorado.