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Weekly Market Update, Week Ending February 2, 2024

Weekly Market Update, Week Ending February 2, 2024

February 06, 2024

Market-Moving News[i]

Another positive week

The major stock indexes slipped on Wednesday following a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting but regained their footing to post gains on Thursday and Friday. The S&P 500, the Dow, and the NASDAQ all climbed more than 1% overall; for the S&P 500, it was the 13th positive result out of the past 14 weeks. 

Upside jobs surprise

High interest rates again appeared to do little to hold back the U.S. labor market, as January’s jobs gain of 353,000 was roughly double the number that most economists had been expecting. In addition, gains from the previous two months were revised upward by a total of 126,000 jobs and the unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 3.7%.

Higher-for-longer outlook 

The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged at the highest level in more than two decades and Chair Jerome Powell said that the prospect of a rate cut as soon as March is “probably not the most likely case.” He indicated that a cut appears likely at some point in 2024 but added that the Fed first wants greater confidence that inflationary pressures will continue to ease. 

January’s positive momentum

The S&P 500 posted its third monthly gain in a row in January, rising a cumulative 15.5% over that stretch. Last month, the index climbed 1.6% overall and eclipsed its record closing level six times, breezing past the 4,800-point mark on January 19 and then 4,900 ten days later. 

Yield volatility

The bond market went on a rough ride late in the week as the yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond fell as low as 3.82% on Thursday before climbing back above the 4.00% threshold the next day. Friday’s surge to a closing yield of 4.03% followed a stronger-than-expected monthly jobs report, which helped fuel expectations of a further delay in potential interest-rate cuts. 

Europe’s slump

The eurozone’s economy ended 2023 on a flat note, posting a 0.0% fourth-quarter GDP growth figure after contracting slightly in the previous quarter. The last time the continent recorded significant growth was in the third quarter of 2022, when the annual growth rate was 0.5%. 

Oil slick

The price of oil fell more than 7% for the week, reversing most of its year-to-date gain. U.S. crude was trading at around $72 per barrel on Friday, down from a recent peak of more than $90 in September. 

Small caps lag

Small-cap stocks were an outlier in the week’s mostly positive results across the U.S. stock market, as a small-cap benchmark fell 0.8% for the week. The latest result left small caps further behind their large-cap peers on a year-to-date basis; small caps also lagged overall in 2023.

The week ahead:  February 5-9

  • Monday: Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index
  • Tuesday: No major reports scheduled
  • Wednesday: Consumer credit, U.S. Federal Reserve, Trade Balance, US Census Bureau
  • Thursday: Wholesale inventories, U.S. Census Bureau; Weekly Unemployment Claims, US Department of Labor
  • Friday: No reports scheduled

 

Index/market total returns as of 2/2/24 (%)

Close

1 week

YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average

38,654.4

1.4

2.6

NASDAQ Composite Index

15,629.0

1.1

4.1

S&P 500 Index

4,958.6

1.4

4.1

MSCI EAFE Index

2,223.2

0.0

-0.5

Cboe Volatility Index

13.9

4.5

11.2


 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Treasury bond yields as of 2/2/24 (%)

END OF WEEK

PRIOR YEAR END

YTD CHANGE (BPS)

2 Yr

4.37

4.25

12

10 Yr

4.03

3.88

15

30 Yr

4.22

4.03

19

2-10 spread

-34

-37

3

10-30 spread

19

16

3

 


 

Stoic Quote of the Week

“Don’t be bounced around, but submit every impulse to the claims of justice, and protect your clear conviction in every appearance.”  Marcus Aurelius[ii]

 

Tax Tips[iii]

  1. Review your withholding
    • It’s easy to brag when you get a big refund check, but what that really means is you’ve been lending the government money interest-free for the year. Work with your employer to adjust the amount withheld from each paycheck so it more accurately reflects the taxes you’ll need to pay at the end of the year. The IRS offers an online calculatorto help you fill out the W-4 form your employer uses to figure out how much to withhold from each paycheck.
  2. Take advantage of pre-tax opportunities and employer matches
    • If your employer offers a 401(k) or other retirement plan, look at it as an opportunity to put away your money before it’s taxed. Just as important, if your employer matches your contributions, make it a priority to meet the match. It’s an opportunity to double your money.

Health Tips

Check your fingernails![iv]

Your fingernails are clues to your overall health. Many people develop lines or ridges from the cuticle to the tip which are actually completely fine and just a part of normal aging.

But there are other nail changes you should not ignore that may indicate liver problems, kidney problems, or nutritional deficiencies.

Here are six examples you may want to have checked out:

  • This could be a sign of psoriasis.
  • Clubbing happens when your oxygen is low and could be a sign of lung issues.
  • It can happen if you have iron-deficient anemia or liver disease.
  • "a Beau's line." It's a horizontal line that indicates a previous injury or infection.
  • Five is nail separation. This may happen as a result of injury, infection or a medication.
  • And six is yellowing of the nails, which may be the result of chronic bronchitis.

 

Events

SS events the week of the 19th!  Check out our youtube channel for last year’s versions!

 

International Day Of[v]

  • Feb 5 – National Weatherperson’s Day
  • Feb 6 – National Frozen Yoghurt Day
  • Feb 7 – National Periodic Table of the Elements Day
  • Feb 8 – National Kit Flying Day
  • Feb 9 – National Toothache Day

 


[i]https://www.jhinvestments.com/weekly-market-recap#investment-returns  Accessed February 6, 2024.

[ii] Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.22. 

[iii]https://www.nationwide.com/lc/resources/personal-finance/articles/basic-tax-tips  Accessed February 6, 2024.

[iv]https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/mayo-clinic-minute-fingernails-are-clues-to-your-health/vid-20454732  Accessed February 6, 2024.

[v]https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/february/february-5, Accessed February 6, 2024