Jump for Joy | February 23, 2024

AUTHOR: Jason Roque, CFP®, APMA®, AWMA®
TITLE:   Investment Adviser Rep – CCO
TAGS: S&P 500, NASDAQ, Earnings, Jobs, housing.
Markets rallied

Markets jumped for the week. Mainly it happened on Thursday, but is it reason for joy or alarm?

Monday  S&P 500 –% | NASDAQ –%

Happy President’s Day!

Tuesday S&P 500 0.60% | NASDAQ 0.92%

14 major companies reported earnings, with six missing expectations. Markets slipped on the day, however consumer discretionary stocks fared well. This came as Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) earnings reports on the day.

Wednesday  S&P 500 0.13% | NASDAQ 0.32%

13 major companies reported earnings, with four missing expectations. Equity markets ended mixed as earnings season wore on. The NASDAQ lagged the S&P while waiting for Nvidia (NVDA) earnings after the closing bell.

Thursday                     S&P 500 2.11% | NASDAQ 2.96%

Initial jobless claims remained low. Manufacturing is projected to expand, while Services showed some weakness. Additionally, existing home sales grew for the first time in a year. 23 major companies reported earnings, with six missing expectations. The big news on the day came late Wednesday as Nvidia (NVDA) handily exceeded expectations. This sent markets into the stratosphere for the day.

Friday                          S&P 500 0.03% | NASDAQ 0.28%

Two major companies reported earnings, with one missing expectations. Markets took a breather after the major gains on Thursday. Equities remain elevated for the week, despite the pause.

Conclusion                  S&P 500 1.66% | NASDAQ 1.40%

The VIX volatility index sat at 14 at weeks end. For perspective, the long-term average for the VIX is about 21. We are at below average volatility currently, but the swings in the last two weeks have been more pronounced. Disappointing Consumer Price data sent the S&P 500 careening lower by 1.37%, while Nvidia (NVDA) sent the index up 2.11%. These outsized moves could be merely overreactions to unexpected news. To the contrary, they could also signal increased volatility ahead. We expect that it should be isolated to the unexpected nature of the data. It should be watched for further signs of stress on the market in coming weeks.

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