The S&P 500 and NASDAQ recorded their seventh positive week out of the past eight, pushing their record levels higher. The NASDAQ achieved a 3.3% total return, and the S&P 500 added 1.6%, while the Dow fell by 0.5%.

A slightly better-than-expected monthly inflation reading helped fuel stock market gains on Wednesday and raised the prospects for a possible interest-rate cut in the coming months. The Consumer Price Index showed no change in May from the previous month; on a 12-month basis, May’s inflation rate was 3.3%, slightly better than the 3.4% forecasted by economists.

Driven by technology stock gains and enthusiasm over artificial intelligence, a U.S. large-cap growth index outperformed its value counterpart by a wide margin, continuing the growth style’s year-to-date dominance. Over the past four weeks, the growth index has gained about 6.0%, while the value benchmark declined by 3.3%.

Interest-rate expectations shifted again, causing significant moves in the bond market. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond fell to 4.21% on Friday, down from 4.43% the previous week and well below the recent high of 4.62% on May 29. Yields on 30-year and 2-year notes experienced similar weekly declines.

An index tracking large-cap European stocks dropped 2.4% for the week, and European government bond yields fell following European Parliament election results that posed new challenges for mainstream political parties. French and Italian stocks saw some of the biggest declines.

The U.S. Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for the seventh consecutive meeting on Wednesday. Despite a better-than-expected monthly inflation report, Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated that the latest projections suggest the possibility of just one interest-rate cut this year, down from the three cuts projected in March.

Persistent inflation appears to be weighing on U.S. consumers, as consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level in seven months. The University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment survey reading for June dropped to 65.6 from May’s 69.1, with participants’ inflation expectations rising slightly.

The World Bank has raised its full-year 2024 outlook for global economic growth, partly due to improvements in the U.S. outlook. The bank now expects global GDP to grow at a 2.6% annual rate, up from a January forecast of 2.4%. U.S. growth is forecasted at 2.5%, nearly a full percentage point higher than the bank’s prediction five months ago.

Major U.S. Economic Reports

NFIB optimism indexMay90.589.7
Consumer price indexMay0.0%0.3%
CPI year over year3.3%3.4%
Core CPIMay0.2%0.3%
Core CPI year over year3.4%3.6%
Monthly U.S. federal budgetMay-$347B$210B
Initial jobless claimsJune 8242,000229,000
Producer price indexMay-0.2%0.5%
PPI year over year2.2%2.3%
Core PPIMay0.0%0.4%
Core PPI year over year3.2%3.2%
Import price indexMay-0.4%0.9%
Import price index minus fuelMay-0.3%0.7%
Consumer sentiment (prelim)June65.669.1

Closing Prices for the Week

Dow Jones Industrials Average38,589.16
Nasdaq Composite17,688.88
S&P 500 Index5,431.60
CBOE Volatility Index12.66
S&P GSCI575.08
U.S. Dollar Index105.550
10-Year T-Note (Sep ’24)110-270
Crude Oil WTI (Aug ’24)78.05
Natural Gas (Jul ’24)2.881
Gold (Aug ’24)2,349.1
Silver (Jul ’24)29.472
Corn (Jul ’24)450-0
Wheat (Jul ’24)612-6
Soybean (Nov ’24)1149-6
Coffee (Sep ’24)224.40
Sugar #11 (Oct ’24)19.49
Cocoa (Sep ’24)9,701

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