The S&P 500 and NASDAQ rebounded strongly last week, breaking a three-week streak of declines. Robust earnings from tech firms helped offset concerns sparked by recent economic and inflation data. The NASDAQ surged over 4%, while the S&P 500 saw nearly a 3% increase; however, the Dow lagged, recording only a fractional gain.

While the U.S. economy maintained positive growth in the first quarter of this year, it notably slowed from the previous quarter, falling short of economists’ expectations. GDP expanded at an annualized rate of 1.6%, a significant drop from the 3.4% recorded in the fourth quarter of last year, amid persistent inflationary pressures.

Earnings season is halfway through, with the outlook for earnings growth improving compared to the previous week. According to FactSet, analysts anticipated a 3.5% increase in first-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies compared to the same period last year, based on released results and projections for yet-to-report companies. Just a week earlier, the forecasted growth rate was at 0.5%.

Before a Federal Reserve meeting, a report released on Friday revealed that the Fed’s preferred inflation measure remained above the policymakers’ 2.0% target. The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index saw a 2.8% annual increase in March, excluding food and energy prices, unchanged from February and slightly higher than economists’ forecasts.

U.S. government bond yields climbed for the fourth consecutive week, with the 2-year Treasury yield briefly exceeding 5% on Thursday for the first time since last November. The 10-year bond yield closed the week around 4.67%.

The volatility index, which tracks short-term market volatility, saw its first weekly decline in April, retracting from its recent six-month high. The Cboe Volatility Index ended approximately 23% lower than its peak recorded on April 15.

Higher-than-expected inflation figures seemed to impact U.S. consumer sentiment, which reversed its upward trajectory observed in March. The University of Michigan’s sentiment survey released on Friday indicated a downturn from the previous month’s peak, marking a shift after 32 months of improvement.

The upcoming week will feature more quarterly earnings reports, alongside a Federal Reserve policy meeting concluding on Wednesday and a jobs report on Friday. The Fed is expected to maintain interest rates, while the jobs report will reveal April’s employment growth compared to March’s unexpectedly high increase of 303,000 jobs.

Major U.S. Economic Reports

S&P flash U.S. services PMIApril50.951.7
S&P flash U.S. manufacturing PMIApril49.951.7
New home salesMarch693,000637,000
Durable-goods ordersMarch2.6%0.7%
Durable-goods minus transportationMarch0.2%0.1%
Initial jobless claimsApril 20207,000212,000
Advanced U.S. trade balance in goodsMarch$91.8B-$90.3B
Advanced retail inventoriesMarch0.3%0.5%
Advanced wholesale inventoriesMarch-0.4%0.5%
Pending home salesMarch3.4%1.6%
Personal incomeMarch0.5%0.3%
Personal spending0.8%0.8%
PCE index0.3%0.3%
PCE (year-over-year)2.7%2.5%
Core PCE index0.3%0.3%
Core PCE (year-over-year)2.8%2.8%
Consumer sentiment (final)April77.277.9

Closing Prices for the Week

Dow Jones Industrials Average38,239.66
Nasdaq Composite15,927.90
S&P 500 Index5,099.96
CBOE Volatility Index15.03
S&P GSCI595.93
U.S. Dollar Index105.938
10-Year T-Note (Jun ’24)107-185
Crude Oil WTI (Jun ’24)83.85
Natural Gas (Jun ’24)1.923
Gold (Jun ’24)2,347.2
Silver (Jul ’24)27.535
Corn (Jul ’24)450-0
Wheat (Jul ’24)622-2
Soybean (Jul ’24)1177-2
Coffee (Jul ’24)224.00
Sugar #11 (Jul ’24)19.09

Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone.

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