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Stocks closed mixed yesterday with the Dow finishing moderately lower, the S&P eking out a small gain, and the Nasdaq ending moderately higher, and making another new all-time high in the process.
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks End Mixed, But Another New All-Time High For The Nasdaq

Stocks closed mixed yesterday with the Dow finishing moderately lower, the S&P eking out a small gain, and the Nasdaq ending moderately higher, and making another new all-time high in the process.

Big-tech continues to push the Nasdaq to new highs.

Yesterday's Case-Shiller Home Price Index (unadjusted) rose 1.6% m/m vs. views for 1.0% and last month's 0.9%. On a y/y basis it was up 7.4%, in line with the consensus, and up from last month's 7.3%.

The FHFA House Price Index increased 0.1% m/m vs. estimates for 0.5% and last month's 1.2% pace. On a y/y basis it was up 6.7% vs. last month's 7.1%.

The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey showed the General Activity Index at -19.4, down from last month's -14.5. The Production Index fell to -2.8 vs. last month's 4.8 print.

And Consumer Confidence rose to 102.0. That's a 4.62% increase vs. last month's 97.5, and even more so vs. the consensus for 95.3.

In other news, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said he was inclined to wait for "many more months of positive inflation give me the confidence that it's appropriate to dial back" interest rates.

This is similar to what he said a few weeks ago, and what Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said just last week. So this was nothing new. But with more and more Fed officials echoing the same sentiment, it's likely we'll need more than one good report to give the Fed the green light.

Nonetheless, each inflation report that shows more progress, serves to give the Fed more confidence that it's time.

And the next inflation report comes out on Friday with the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index, which is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge.

But before that, we'll get today's MBA Mortgage Applications, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, the Survey of Business Uncertainty, and the Beige Book report.

We'll also hear from Fed policymakers John Williams and Raphael Bostic. Likely echoing more of the same. But you never know.

Even though earnings season officially comes to a close this week, we'll still hear from another 325 companies on deck to report by week's end (128 today alone), with familiar names like Salesforce, Agilent, HP, Okta, and UiPath reporting after the close.

It's been a great earnings season.

In fact, when Q1'24 earnings season is finally over, it's expected to show S&P earnings up 6.3% and sales up 4.4%. But both earnings and sales estimates are on the rise with Q2'24 expected to show earnings up 9.0% and sales up 4.6%; Q3'24 is expected to show earnings up 7.3% and sales up 4.9%; and Q4'24 is expected to show earnings up 12.3% and sales up 5.6%.

The earnings picture is one of improvement, and another bullish indicator underpinning the market.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research

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