EcoPulse stories offer a unique way to measure the "pulse" of the U.S. economy. These regular columns focus on economic trends and related investment strategies, compare the Federal Reserve's assessment of economic activity to companies' performance and offer technical analysis of stock charts that captures shifts in investor sentiment.
Spending at family-dining restaurants, including Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., Bob Evans Farms Inc. and Denny’s Corp., is improving after a winter-time slump, helping to offset concerns that U.S. consumption may soften.
Global growth will need to accelerate faster than projected for Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. and Omnicom Group Inc. to outpace the market for a second consecutive year, even though advertising revenue will get a boost from this year’s Olympic Games and World Cup.
Shares of U.S. homebuilding companies have fallen more than 20 percent since May, even as home-improvement retailers rose to a record high, a sign some investors are too pessimistic that higher mortgage rates could derail new construction.
Consumer discretionary stocks may lag behind the market after five consecutive years of outperformance, even amid resilient spending by Americans, as investors look to industrial and other companies for gains this year.