Resilience continues to define US equity markets, with the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Industrials Index chalking up their 12th weekly advance in 13. Quite some going. The technology-laden Nasdaq also recorded a modest gain on the week, led by chipmakers Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices, on expectations that both companies are likely to deliver standout earnings results in the coming weeks. They will need to, given the eye-watering valuation each is commanding, leaving no room for disappointment.
Markets remain hyper-sensitive to data releases concerning the outlook for growth, inflation, and employment. Part of the reason is how quickly asset prices moved during the fourth quarter of 2023 to reflect anticipated interest rate cuts in response to softening language and rhetoric from the US Federal Reserve (‘The Fed’). This past week offered a mixed picture regarding the health of the American economy.