The S&P 500 surged by more than 1% during the week, propelling the index above the significant 5,000-point threshold for the first time and marking its 14th positive outcome out of the past 15 weeks. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ recorded an increase of over 2%, while the Dow posted a marginal gain.

It took the S&P 500 nearly three years to surpass the 5,000-point milestone, achieving this feat on Friday. This accomplishment followed its initial breach of the 4,000-point mark in April 2021. Before that, the index crossed 3,000 points in July 2019, 2,000 in August 2014, and 1,000 in February 1998.

Expectations for the current quarterly earnings season underwent a notable shift in three weeks, evolving from slightly negative to decidedly positive. By Friday, fourth-quarter net income was projected to increase by 2.9% compared to the same quarter a year ago. This forecast was based on reports from two-thirds of S&P 500 companies and projections for the remainder. Just a few weeks prior, earnings were anticipated to decline by 1.8%.

The ongoing dominance of growth stocks over value stocks in the equity market style was fueled by robust earnings performances from selected technology firms. Year to date, a U.S. large-cap growth benchmark yielded a total return of 8.8%, overshadowing its value counterpart, which registered only a 1.1% return.

The yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond saw an uptick on Thursday, reaching 4.17%, following the release of a weekly report on unemployment claims that highlighted the robustness of the U.S. labor market. New applications for jobless benefits decreased to 218,000, marking the first decline in three weeks. By the week’s end, the 10-year yield stood at 4.17%, up from 4.03% in the previous week.

Despite a shaky start, an index tracking U.S. small-cap stocks recorded a gain of 2.4% for the week. This positive outcome followed a 1.3% drop on Monday, with subsequent daily gains for the remainder of the week.

A Consumer Price Index report scheduled for release on Tuesday will provide insights into whether recent mixed readings on inflation persisted into January. In December, inflation experienced a month-to-month increase of 0.3%, slightly exceeding economists’ expectations and marking the third consecutive monthly rise. However, December’s Producer Price Index, which monitors factory prices to wholesalers, declined by 0.1%.

Major U.S. Economic Reports

S&P final U.S. services PMIJan.52.552.9
ISM servicesJan.52.5%50.5%
U.S. trade deficitDec.-$62.2B$61.9B
Consumer creditJan.$1.5B$23.4B
Initial jobless claimsFeb. 3218,000227,000
Wholesale inventoriesDec.0.4%-0.2%

Closing Prices for the Week

Dow Jones Industrials Average38,671.69
Nasdaq Composite15,990.66
S&P 500 Index5,026.61
CBOE Volatility Index12.93
S&P GSCI558.99
U.S. Dollar Index104.111
10-Year T-Note (Mar ’24)110-185
Crude Oil WTI (Mar ’24)76.84
Natural Gas (Mar ’24)1.847
Gold (Apr ’24)2,038.7
Silver (Mar ’24)22.594
Corn (Mar ’24)429-0
Wheat (Mar ’24)596-6
Soybean (Mar ’24)1183-4
Coffee (May ’24)191.50
Sugar #11 (Mar ’24)24.02

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

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