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Stocks closed higher on Friday, but mixed for the week. While the Dow, small-cap Russell 2000 and mid-cap S&P 400 were down for the week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both up for the week, making it 5 up weeks in a row, with the Nasdaq putting in a
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks Up On Friday, Nasdaq Makes New All-Time High Close

Stocks closed higher on Friday, but mixed for the week.

While the Dow, small-cap Russell 2000 and mid-cap S&P 400 were down for the week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both up for the week, making it 5 up weeks in a row, with the Nasdaq putting in a new all-time high close.

After the big 3 indexes hit new all-time highs earlier in the week, a round of profit taking ahead of the 3-day Memorial Day weekend last week weighed on prices. But it was an uneven performance as big-tech led the way, while indexes with lesser exposure were not as fortunate.

In other news, Friday's Durable Goods Orders increased by 0.7% m/m vs. last month's 0.8% and views for -0.9.%. The core rate was up 0.4% m/m vs. last month's 0.2% and estimates for 0.1%.

And Consumer Sentiment fell to 69.1 (a 6-month low) vs. last month's 77.2. Although, the final reading of 69.1 was better than the preliminary reading of 67.4 from a few weeks earlier.

With earnings season coming to an end, the main focus over the next couple of weeks will be this week's Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index, which is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, and next week's Employment Situation report.

On Friday, we'll get the PCE report, and it's expected to show headline inflation holding steady at 2.7% y/y vs. last month's pace, and the core rate (ex-food & energy) at 2.8%, also the same as last month.

While holding steady is not the same as ticking lower, it would be a welcomed report if it indeed showed inflation not ticking higher, as that had been the recent fear prior to the latest CPI and PPI reports which showed disinflation was still mostly intact.

After that will come next week's Employment Situation report. It's looming even larger than normal given Fed policymakers citing it as a critical element in deciding if and when to cut interest rates.

Just last week, Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller, while acknowledging that several recent reports showed inflation is heading back down, commented that "in the absence of a significant weakening in the labor market, I need to see several more months of good inflation data before I would be comfortable supporting an easing in the stance of monetary policy."

In other words, if progress on inflation slows, he would need to see the labor market ease, as that would signal the Fed's tighter monetary policy is having an effect at slowing the economy down, which in turn should ultimately bring down inflation. But if evidence of that is scant across both categories, higher for longer could end up being longer than previously expected.

Even though earnings season officially comes to a close this week, we will still hear from 571 companies on deck to report with familiar names like Salesforce, Agilent, Costco, Dell, and Marvell Technology to name a handful.

In addition to this week's PCE report, it'll be a busy week of other economic reports with the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the FHFA House Price Index, Consumer Confidence, and the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey on tap for today.

We'll also hear from Fed policymakers Loretta Mester, Neel Kashkari, and Lisa Cook as they speak at various engagements throughout the day.

With stocks at or near their all-time highs, it won't take much to send them even higher.

But a little cooperation on some key economic stats (inflation this week and jobs next week), would definitely help.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


Senate Opens Door for Uranium Boom, Outlawing Russian Supply


Just days ago, Uncle Sam made the bold move to ban the importation of Russian Uranium. This could create a massive supply vacuum considering the US is the number one buyer of enriched Russian uranium.

Prices have already quadrupled in recent years, and you'll be shocked when you see just how much higher they could go.

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