The major U.S. stock indexes experienced a week of contrasting outcomes: the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by over 2%, the NASDAQ rose by more than 1%, and the S&P 500 saw a slight increase. This marked the end of a five-week winning streak for the Dow, which dropped over 900 points below the record-high 40,000-point mark it had reached the previous week.

The NASDAQ’s relative outperformance was partly due to another strong week for information technology stocks, which led all sectors with a 3.4% return. This sector has just come off a robust earnings season, boasting the third-highest earnings growth rate among the 11 sectors of the S&P 500.

Oil prices declined around 2% for the week, hitting their lowest level in over three months following a report of increased U.S. crude inventories. By Friday afternoon, U.S. crude prices had fallen to under $78 per barrel, significantly down from a year-to-date high of $87 in early April.

As of Friday, with 96% of first-quarter earnings reports in, companies in the S&P 500 were showing an average earnings increase of 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year, according to FactSet. If this figure holds, it would be the highest growth rate since Q1 2022.

Consumer sentiment appears to be dampened by mixed inflation data. The University of Michigan’s sentiment index for May recorded a final reading of 69.1, up from a preliminary 67.4 but significantly down from April’s 77.2.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s May 1 meeting, released on Wednesday, indicated that several policymakers are prepared to tighten monetary policy further if inflation risks rise, discussing a potential interest-rate hike in response to mixed inflation data.

Unexpectedly, U.S. existing home sales fell in April due to high mortgage rates and home prices. The National Association of Realtors reported a 1.9% decline, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.14 million units, contrary to most economists’ expectations of a monthly increase.

The upcoming release of an updated U.S. GDP estimate on Thursday is highly anticipated. The initial estimate from late April showed GDP growth at an annual rate of 1.6% for the first quarter, down from 3.4% in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

Major U.S. Economic Reports

Existing home salesApril4.14 million4.22 million
Initial jobless claimsMay 18215,000223,000
S&P flash U.S. services PMIMay54.851.3
S&P flash U.S. manufacturing PMIMay52.451.1
New home salesApril634,000665,000
Durable-goods ordersApril0.7%0.8%
Durable-goods minus transportationApril0.4%0.0%
Consumer sentiment (final)May69.167.4

Closing Prices for the Week

Dow Jones Industrials Average39,069.59
Nasdaq Composite16,920.79
S&P 500 Index5,304.72
CBOE Volatility Index11.93
S&P GSCI581.69
U.S. Dollar Index104.724
10-Year T-Note (Jun ’24)108-225
Crude Oil WTI (Jul ’24)77.72
Natural Gas (Jul ’24)2.773
Gold (Jun ’24)2,334.5
Silver (Jul ’24)30.499
Corn (Jul ’24)464-6
Wheat (Jul ’24)697-2
Soybean (Jul ’24)1248-0
Coffee (Jul ’24)218.25
Sugar #11 (Jul ’24)18.41

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

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