Market Summary – March 11, 2024

Last Week’s Summary

  • S&P 500 Index fell 0.23%
  • International Equities rose 2.09%
  • Emerging Markets rose 1.24%
  • U.S. 10-Year Treasury Yield fell to 4.07%
  • Initial Jobless Claims rose to 217k
  • Change in Nonfarm Payrolls fell to 275k
  • Unemployment Rate rose to 3.9%
  • ADP Employment Change rose to 140k

What to Watch for This Week

  • M, 3/11/24 NY Fed 1-Yr Inflation Expectations
  • T, 3/12/24 CPI; CPI Core
  • W, 3/13/24 MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Th, 3/14/24 Initial Jobless Claims, PPI, PPI Core
  • F, 3/15/24 U. of Mich. Sentiment, U. of Mich 1-Yr Inflation

Weekly Market Recap

Wall Street pushed stocks lower on Friday amid concerns that the recent rally to multiple record highs may have been excessive. Technology stocks faced selling pressure, with the Nasdaq 100 declining by 1.5% and Nvidia Corp. ending a Six-Day winning streak. Treasury Two-Year Yields dropped by two basis points to 4.48%, as traders priced in a high likelihood of a quarter-point Fed rate cut in June.

Friday’s job data revealed that the U.S. economy continued to add jobs without causing a significant uptick in wages. These figures rekindled hopes that the Federal Reserve could engineer a soft landing, allowing policymakers to begin easing monetary policy this year without the risk of moving too hastily.

In February, the U.S. jobless rate rose to a Two-Year high of 3.9%, despite robust hiring, indicating a cooling yet resilient labor market. Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 275k last month after a downward revision of 167,000 jobs over the previous two months. Swap contracts adjusted to lower rate expectations. Traders now anticipate nearly 100 basis points of Fed easing by the end of the year.

During his testimony before lawmakers this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell expressed confidence that the labor market was “moving toward a better balance between supply and demand.” He hinted that the central bank is nearing the necessary confidence to begin reducing interest rates.

Market participants are eagerly awaiting the release of Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) reports scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. These releases are expected to provide further guidance on the Fed’s timeline and potential rate cut schedule.

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