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Markets Almost Through a Difficult Week

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Thursday, April 11th, 2024

We’ve made it through the big market news of the week. It hasn’t been easy — and we do have a couple reports remaining on Friday — but at least we know where we stand relative to the start of the week. Major indices were mostly up for the session, led by the Nasdaq +1.68%, the S&P 500 +0.74% and the small-cap Russell 2000 +0.57%, but the Dow dipped ever so slightly into the red as the closing bell sounded, -0.006%.

Any reasonable investor would take the win here. (Traders may still be looking for another 3-5% drop in value so they can make some real money.) We may not win back the week of trading, but considering we struck something like a worst-case scenario in terms of Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) this week. No longer are analysts relying on a 25 basis-pint (bps) pullback on interest rates come the June Fed meeting. It hasn’t been too long since some were forecasting six or seven rate cuts in 2024. But still, we’re surviving it.

In fact, the Nasdaq now sits at year-to-date highs — which are also all-time highs! This, after having passed through this dire scenario of a too-strong economy based on March CPI data. The S&P is close to its year-to-date/all-time highs, as well, but not quite there yet. Only the small caps of the Russell and the blue-chip Dow have shouldered the burdens of the recent struggle. Even gold closed at a new record high today: $2372 per ounce.

Friday morning brings us the final economic data of the week. These will include Import and Export prices for March and a preliminary report on Consumer Sentiment for April. Thrown in for good measure will be a couple Fed members, Atlanta’s Raphael Bostic and San Francisco’s May Daly making appearances. Next week will be the final opportunities to hear from Fed members ahead of their April 30/May 1 FOMC meeting. Although everyone knows they’re not going to cut rates at that one.

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