Weekly Economic Update – 01/22/2024

The Week on Wall Street

Stocks finished higher last week, with big tech again leading amid lingering uncertainty over how continued economic strength would influence the Fed’s rate decision.

Stocks Dip, Then Rally 

Stock prices dropped early in the week before rising to new highs as the week ended. The four-day trading week began with more Q4 bank earnings, which disappointed. The news pushed the financial sector and the broader S&P 500 Index lower on Tuesday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed after a Fed Governor said the central bank may adjust rates as much as markets expect. That and a stronger-than-expected holiday retail sales report put pressure on stock prices.1,2,3

Tech stocks drove the Thursday rally, with the S&P and Nasdaq recouping their 2024 losses. Stocks continued their tech-led climb on Friday, with the S&P 500 rising to an all-time high—its first record close in over two years. The Nasdaq gained 1.70% on Friday, capping a solid week for the tech-heavy index.

Navigating the Middle

Sentiment see-sawed last week as investors tried to anticipate the Fed’s next move. The week was full of economic news that suggested continued resilience in the economy, which may add complexity to the Fed’s next decision.

December retail sales came in strong, +0.6% for the month, besting economists’ expectations of +0.4%. November and December combined to depict a robust holiday shopping season. Unemployment dipped unexpectedly for the second week of January–a sign of a resilient U.S. labor market. That labor news and hotter-than-expected housing starts pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury to 4.14%, its highest level in more than a month.4,5,6,7

Weekly Riddle

I am gentle enough to soothe the skin, light enough to reflect the sky, yet hard enough to crack rocks. What am I?

Last week’s riddle: You can rearrange the letters in insatiable to make another ten-letter word that starts with the letter b. What is this ten-letter word? 

Answer: Banalities.

John Dombroski Jr. may be reached at (480) 991-1055 or [email protected]

www.grandcanyonplanning.com

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