Weekly Market Bullets

for the week ending 3/1/2024

  • US Equity Markets hit new highs last week, as cooler inflation and softer-than-expected economic data increased hopes for Fed rate cuts. The S&P 500 was up 1.0% for the week to bring its gains for the year to 7.7%. The Nasdaq rose 1.7% for the week and is now up 8.4% for the year, while the Russell 2000 (small cap stocks) rallied 3.0% for the week and is now up 2.4% for the year.

  • Global Equity Markets were mixed last week amid European inflation data that was better than expected though mixed economic data out of Asia. Developed Markets rose 0.6% for the week and are now up 2.8% for the year. Emerging Markets fell 0.4% for the week and are now up a fractional 0.1% for the year.

  • ´╗┐Inflation continues to move in the right direction while US economic data were weak. The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index for January was up 2.4% from a year ago, down from 2.6% in December. The Core PCE Index, which excludes food and energy, was up 2.8% from a year ago vs. 2.9% in December. Measures of US manufacturing activity for February dropped from January and remained in contraction territory. This marks the 16th consecutive month of contraction in US manufacturing activity. Investors believed the data increased the likelihood of Fed rate cuts.
Of Interest to Us
  • Consumer confidence weakened in February. The Conference Board's index of Consumer Confidence for February dropped notably to 106.7 from a downwardly revised 110.9 in January, well below expectations of 114.6. At the same time, a watched survey on Consumer Sentiment for February dropped to 76.9 from 78.8 in January. Growing concern about short-term economic conditions appeared to cause the decline. With consumption accounting for roughly 70% of US economic activity, a confident consumer is needed to sustain economic growth.

Market Data

for the week ending 3/1/2024

If you have questions about the markets or would like to talk about your investments, please contact me at [email protected] or via phone at 704.940.3544.
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