The NASDAQ reached a record high on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and Dow following suit on Wednesday, buoyed by new inflation data and a more optimistic outlook for eventual interest-rate cuts. The Dow closed above the 40,000-point mark for the first time on Friday, finishing at 40,003.6, marking its fifth consecutive positive week.

U.S. stock indexes rose about 1% on Wednesday, and bond yields dropped after an inflation report showed consumer prices increased less than expected. In April, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.3% from the previous month and 3.4% year-over-year, breaking a recent trend of higher-than-expected inflation data.

The latest inflation figures raised investors’ expectations for interest-rate cuts later this year, leading to a sharp decline in government bond yields. The yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond closed at 4.42% on Friday, down significantly from 4.69% at the end of April.

Gold futures climbed above the record-high $2,400-per-ounce level last reached in mid-April on Friday. Year to date, gold has risen nearly 17%, with most of the gains occurring since mid-March.

In response to slumping housing prices, China announced measures on Friday aimed at boosting the struggling commercial and residential property markets. The central bank reduced the minimum down payment for mortgages and removed the floor on interest rates for first and second homes.

An index measuring investors’ expectations of short-term U.S. stock market volatility fell into negative territory for the year and reached its lowest level in five months. The Cboe Volatility Index has declined about 38% from a recent high on April 15.

A U.S. large-cap growth stock index outperformed its value stock counterpart significantly for the week, extending its year-to-date performance edge. The growth index finished the week up more than 13% year-to-date, compared to a nearly 9% gain for the value index.

U.S. retail sales were unexpectedly flat in April, marking a slowdown from the previous month’s 0.6% increase. Most economists had expected a 0.4% gain for April, but the unchanged result came amid elevated interest rates and persistent inflation.

Major U.S. Economic Reports

Producer price indexApril0.5%-0.1%
PPI year over year2.2%1.8%
Core PPIApril0.4%0.2%
Core PPI year over year3.1%2.8%
Consumer price indexApril0.3%0.4%
CPI year over year3.4%3.5%
Core CPIApril0.3%0.4%
Core CPI year over year3.6%3.8%
U.S. retail salesApril0.0%0.6%
Retail sales minus autosApril0.2%0.9%
Empire State manufacturing surveyMay-15.6-14.3
Home builder confidence indexMay4551
Business inventoriesMarch-0.1%0.3%
Initial jobless claimsMay 11222,000232,000
Philadelphia Fed manufacturing surveyMay4.515.5
Housing startsApril1.36 million1.29 million
Building permitsApril1.44 million1.49 million
Import price indexApril0.9%0.6%
Import price index minus fuelApril0.7%0.1%
Industrial productionApril0.0%0.1%
Capacity utilizationApril78.4%78.5%
U.S. leading economic indicatorsApril-0.6%-0.3%

Closing Prices for the Week

Dow Jones Industrials Average40,003.59
Nasdaq Composite16,685.97
S&P 500 Index5,303.27
CBOE Volatility Index11.99
S&P GSCI587.48
U.S. Dollar Index104.445
10-Year T-Note (Jun ’24)109-060
Crude Oil WTI (Jul ’24)79.58
Natural Gas (Jul ’24)2.789
Gold (Jun ’24)2,417.4
Silver (Jul ’24)31.259
Corn (Jul ’24)452-4
Wheat (Jul ’24)651-2
Soybean (Jul ’24)1228-0
Coffee (Jul ’24)206.60
Sugar #11 (Jul ’24)18.13

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

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