Weekly Market Insights

Weekly Market Insights: Investors Anticipate Fed Rate Change

Stocks notched a solid gain last week in a mega-cap, tech-led rally bolstered by positive inflation news.

Dow 40,000

The week began quietly as market averages traded in a tight range, awaiting fresh inflation news.

On Tuesday, markets rose steadily throughout the day after digesting a mixed wholesale inflation report.1

The next day, a cooler-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) report sparked a broad-based rally as the upbeat news raised investors’ hopes for a rate cut. The Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor’s 500 (which ended above 5300 for the first time) closed the day up 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the bellwether 10-year Treasury yield fell to 4.35 percent.2,3

Investors took a break as the week ended, mostly yawning at mixed economic data. Notably, the Dow closed just above 40,000 on Friday.

Footnotes and Sources

  1. CNBC.com, May 14, 2024
  2. The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2024
  3. CNBC.com, May 17, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Stocks Rise, Anticipating Rate Cut

Stocks notched a solid gain last week as rate-cut expectations paced the rally as the Q1 earnings season wound down.

Stocks Climb Steadily

Monday opened with stocks picking up where they left off the prior Friday. Stocks were still basking in the afterglow of fresh jobs data, which eased investor concerns of an overheating economy. That and reports of a possible Middle East ceasefire fueled Monday’s rally.1

Stocks hung out in a narrow trading band Tuesday and Wednesday, yawning at the sparse economic news and a handful of negative earnings results. By contrast, the Nasdaq edged lower over those two days.2,3

On Thursday, the S&P 500 closed above 5,200 for the first time since early April. The next day, stocks rallied, and the Dow clinched its eighth consecutive day of gains, the longest winning streak since December and its best weekly performance this year. Fresh data showed consumers continue to have inflation concerns for the year ahead, which was unsettling.4,5

Footnotes and Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2024
  2. The Wall Street Journal, May 7, 2024
  3. The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2024
  4. CNBC.com, May 9, 2024
  5. The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Volatility, Uncertainty Rule the Week for Markets

Stocks notched a solid gain last week, rallying behind upbeat earnings, a dovish Fed, and mixed economic data.

Stocks Pop, Drop, Then Rally

Markets began the week with an upward bump as positive news from some mega-cap tech companies outweighed disappointing updates from other tech names.

The tone quickly changed on Tuesday as higher-than-expected Q1 wage growth triggered inflation and interest-rate anxiety—just as the Federal Open Market Committee kicked off its third meeting of the year. Each of the three major averages dropped more than 1.5 percent on the last trading day of April.1

When the Fed announced it was holding rates steady on Wednesday, stocks initially rallied on the news, but sellers got the upper hand late in the trading session, and prices ended the day slightly down.2

On Thursday, stocks trended higher as more companies reported upbeat Q1 results. Then, on Friday, stocks pushed higher after the April jobs report indicated that unemployment ticked up and the economy slowed. The 175,000 jobs created in April represented slower growth than the over 300,000 added in March and less than the 240,000 economists expected. Some Fed watchers believe that the news bolstered chances that the Fed may adjust rates sooner rather than later.3

Footnotes and Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2024
  2. CNBC.com, May 1, 2024
  3. The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2024

Stocks Bounce Back. Twice.

Last week opened with a rebound rally as investors breathed a sigh of relief that Middle East tensions had eased. The market rally extended into Tuesday, with investors cheering positive corporate earnings reports. By Tuesday’s market close, the S&P 500 had gained 2% for the week.1,2,3

But investor enthusiasm didn’t last, as midweek saw profit taking in all three averages. Rising bond yields threw a wet blanket on market momentum; at one point, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose more than 40 basis points from its low earlier in the week.4

On Thursday, markets slipped on two fresh pieces of economic data: a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slowdown and higher consumer prices. But by midday, selling pressure slowed. Stocks pushed higher on Friday behind upbeat Q1 reports from two mega-cap tech stocks, helping the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq post their best week since November.5

Footnotes and Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2024
  2. CNBC.com, April 22, 2024
  3. CNBC.com, April 23, 2024
  4. CNBC.com, April 24, 2024
  5. The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Fed and Middle East Conflict Diminish Stocks

Stocks fell for a third straight week, as Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s mixed but upbeat message could not offset the anxiety caused by the Middle East conflict.

Stocks Retreat

Markets began the week rattled by further escalation in the Middle East over the weekend. A bit of good news punctuated an otherwise sour Monday, as a stronger-than-expected retail sales report showed consumers were spending despite rising inflation.1,2

On Tuesday, remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated a shift in thinking—from being confident to not-so-confident about interest rate cuts in 2024. He said rates might need to stay higher until the Fed meets their 2% inflation target.3,4

On Friday, the markets saw further declines, but investors were somewhat reassured by the perception that Thursday’s retaliatory actions in the Middle East were restricted in scope.5

Footnotes and Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2024
  2. CNBC.com, April 15, 2024
  3. The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2024
  4. CNBC.com, April 16, 2024
  5. CNBC.com, April 19, 2024

Inflation Spooks Markets

On Wednesday, the March Consumer Price Index (CPI) report rattled markets, revealing that inflation accelerated slightly more than expected. Bond yields rose, and stocks retreated in response, as investors feared the news could influence the Fed’s rate decision. The 10-year Treasury yield had its highest intraday jump in three years.1,2,3

Markets rallied Thursday as investors were encouraged by the Producer Price Index (PPI) report, which measures inflation at the producer level. Unlike CPI, PPI rose less than expected, which sparked a tech-focused rally. Markets opened lower on Friday as investors wrestled with the conflicting inflation reports.

Fears of an escalating Middle East conflict also weighed on stocks during the week. Concerns about a potential weekend event led some investors to end the week in a risk-off position.4

Footnotes and Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2024
  2. CNBC.com, April 10, 2024
  3. The Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2024
  4. CNBC.com, April 12, 2024

Weekly Market Insights: Fed Comments Stir The Pot For Stocks

Stocks dropped last week as investors focused on “what’s next” for interest rates after mixed comments from multiple Fed officials.

Fed Officials Weigh In                                      

Stocks struggled out of the gate again last week, ending Monday and Tuesday in the red on concerns that recent economic data could derail the Fed’s plan for short-term rates.

The markets recovered Wednesday through Thursday morning when weekly jobless claims were better than expected. But stocks fell broadly Thursday afternoon following mixed comments from multiple Fed officials. All three averages ended the day down more than 1 percent for the first time in a month.1,2

On Friday, a strong jobs report gave investors much-needed confidence. The U.S. economy created 303,000 jobs in March—higher than economists’ expectations—while unemployment dropped slightly to 3.8 percent. Markets rallied after the news, but not enough to recoup all weekly losses.3

Footnotes And Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2024
  2. The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2024
  3. The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2024