Tech and AI Lead Another Advancing Week – Weekly Update

March 4, 2024 | By Steven DiGregorio

Stocks extended their tech-led advance last week as signs of a resilient and still-enthusiastic consumer boosted momentum.

Nasdaq Sets New High

Stocks traded in a narrow band early in the week but ended the five-trading sessions with a powerful advance.

While the Dow dipped lower, artificial intelligence (AI) names powered the gains in the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite. The Nasdaq bobbed around the 16,000 level for most of the week before posting consecutive record highs on Thursday and Friday, surpassing its 2021 record. It was the last of the three major stock benchmarks to reach a record high this year.1

Economic news also helped boost markets. The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.3 percent in January versus December—and 2.4 percent on a 12-month basis. Both were in line with expectations. Stocks ticked up on Thursday following the release of the report.2

Consumers Remain Upbeat

With all the excitement over AI, it’s easy to overlook some key economic indicators that also speak to the underlying strength of the economy—specifically, consumer data.

In addition to the closely watched PCE report, an end-of-week consumer survey revealed that while sentiment softened in February, it remained near a 32-month high. Fresh data this week also showed an unexpected jump in personal income.

Finally, the PCE report also reflected an ongoing consumer shift from goods to services—a sign the economy continues to normalize after the pandemic. Since two-thirds of gross domestic product comes from consumer spending, these consumer-related metrics helped support the narrative that the economy appears to be gathering momentum.3,4

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: Motor Vehicle Sales.
Tuesday: Factory Orders. ISM Services Index.
Wednesday: ADP Employment Report. JOLTS. Beige Book.
Thursday: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Speech. Jobless Claims. International Trade in Goods & Services. Productivity and Costs.
Friday: Employment Situation.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; February 27, 2024
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

Tuesday: Target Corporation (TGT)
Wednesday: Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR), Campbell Soup Company (CPB)
Thursday: Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), Broadcom Inc. (AVGO), The Kroger Co. (KR)

Source: Zacks, February 27, 2024
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

Box upload

Source: YCharts.com, March 2, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, February 26, to Friday, March 1.
ROC 5 = the rate of change in the index for the previous 5 trading days.
TR = total return for the index, which includes any dividends as well as any other cash distributions during the period.
Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.

Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2024
2. CNBC.com, February 29, 2024
3. MarketWatch.com, March 01, 2024


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Tags: #CompassAMG, AI, DJIA, NASDAQ, PCE Index, S&P 500

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STEVEN M DIGREGORIO is President of Compass Asset Management Group, LLC and an Investment Advisor Representative with Spire Wealth Management, LLC.
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