U.S. stocks fell, after first-quarter GDP came in far weaker than anybody expected, and after the Fed left an increase in rates on the table for the months ahead.
Truth be told, the market was looking weak before either the GDP report or Fed statement, which speaks to the pattern of rallies being followed by selloffs, being followed by rallies, being followed by, well, you get the picture. We won’t be convinced that pattern has been broken until we see a real breakout, one way or the other.
But the economic news was downbeat all the same. The world’s largest economy came to a virtual standstill in the first quarter. Consumer spending was down, business spending was down. Maybe it’s just like last year, when the first quarter was awful and the rest of the year was a snap back. Even if that is the case, it still means the economy’s going to have to churn that much harder just to get back to average, and it puts the U.S. in the hole again to start the year.