Market Summary – March 25, 2024

Last Week’s Summary

  • S&P 500 Index rose 2.31%
  • International Equities rose 0.96%
  • Emerging Markets rose 0.53%
  • U.S. 10-Year Treasury Yield fell to 4.19%
  • Initial Jobless Claims rose to 210k
  • FOMC kept rates unchanged at 5.25%-5.50%
  • Leading Index rose to 0.1%
  • S&P Global US Manu. PMI rose to 52.5

What to Watch for This Week

  • M, 3/25/24 New Home Sales
  • T, 3/26/24 Durable Goods Orders
  • W, 3/27/24 MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Th, 3/28/24 GDP, Initial Jobless Claims, PCE, Core PCE, U. of Mich. Sentiment
  • F, 3/29/24 MARKETS CLOSE GOOD FRIDAY, Personal Income, Personal Spending

Weekly Market Recap

U.S. equities showed signs of hesitation on Friday following an impressive rally that had propelled the S&P 500 nearly 10% higher this year. The week had been marked by a robust, widespread surge, with the Index gaining over 2% within that span.

However, as the week drew to a close, the momentum in stocks began to taper off. Even with this, it was still the best week for the market in 2024, with speculation rife that the Federal Reserve might move to cut interest rates as early as June.

In the updated Federal Reserve Dot Plot released during the meeting, members reiterated their expectations for three rate cuts in 2024. Jerome Powell emphasized the need for further evidence of decreasing prices yet said that a move towards easing would be appropriate “at some point this year. “

In the wake of the Fed’s decision, stocks surged as it became apparent that the central bank’s stance was less hawkish than feared. Chair Powell expressed minimal concern over the recent inflation uptick. This news sent the Two-Year Treasury Yield climbing three basis points on Thursday, while the 10-Year saw a slight increase of less than one basis point.

Meanwhile, attention remained on other central banks, notably the Swiss National Bank, which unexpectedly slashed interest rates, leading to a weakening of its currency against its peers.

Similarly, Mexico’s central bank cut rates as anticipated. These moves may foreshadow potential policy adjustments in the UK, Europe, and the U.S. Looking ahead to the upcoming week, which will be shortened due to the Good Friday holiday, market watchers are waiting on the release of the PCE reading scheduled for Thursday.

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