Rising Tide | Market Thoughts for May 24, 2024

Markets were buoyed on the back of growth for the week. Are markets due for a pullback or will they continue to rise with the tide?

Monday                      S&P 500 0.09% | NASDAQ 0.65%

The S&P 500 Index was relatively subdued to kick off the week. Most movement was found in the tech-heavy NASDAQ as bets were increasing that a rate cut could in fact be on the horizon, albeit later in the year. Important inflation data will be released in the coming week.

Tuesday                       S&P 500 0.25% | NASDAQ 0.22%

Markets were in the green for most of the day. Earnings releases included home improvement staple, Lowe’s (LOW), which beat expectations. Most attention was focused on earnings figures for AI darling, Nvidia (NVDA) to be released on Wednesday.

Wednesday                 S&P 500 0.27% | NASDAQ 0.18%

Stocks slipped as the Federal Reserve’s May Meeting Minutes were released. Comments by members of the FOMC committee indicated they would not rule on a rate hike (instead of rate cuts) should inflation not move further downward. Nvidia (NVDA) surged further as AI driven growth continued to lead investor sentiment.

Thursday                     S&P 500 0.74% | NASDAQ 0.39%

Trading was sent lower as the S&P 500 turned negative on the week. Better than expected earnings for growth companies often implies tighter monetary policy which markets interpreted as a delay on the first rate cut to later in the year.

Friday                          S&P 500 0.70% | NASDAQ 1.10%

Markets turned positive to close out the week as Durable Goods Orders (MoM)(Apr) came in stronger than expected. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow (Q2) estimates that growth could be at 3.5% for the quarter.

Conclusion                  S&P 500 0.03% | NASDAQ 1.41%

The S&P 500 was flat for the week as the tech-heavy NASDAQ led the way following strong earnings in the AI space. As growth-oriented companies push forward, the rate cut outlook has shifted to later in the year. Federal Reserve officials changed their tune this week when they hinted that a rate hike might even be on the table (although unlikely). A “wait and see” approach has gripped the markets with the Volatility Index actually dropping to 12.1. Growth has been welcomed overall but questions remain on whether this climb can sustain itself in a high interest rate environment.

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