The Week on Wall Street

Stocks were down for the week as investors appeared to take some profits and traders parsed Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Congressional testimony.

Markets Wobble 

Stocks had a rough start to the week, with the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq each off more than one percent on Tuesday alone. Mega-cap tech stocks were under pressure as investors appeared to take some profits.

Markets clawed back much of their losses on Wednesday and Thursday, with the Fed Chair’s upbeat comments to the Senate Banking Committee boosting stocks. Chair Powell said that once the Fed was confident inflation was tracking “sustainably at 2%,” the Fed would consider cutting short-term interest rates. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rallied, with the S&P hitting a record close.

Friday’s employment news threw some uncertainty into the mix. The economy added 275,000 jobs in February—exceeding the 198,000 expected—but wage growth slowed, and jobless claims edged up. Some investors saw that as a negative, while others viewed it as a “Goldilocks” moment—an economy that’s not too hot or cold. Stocks initially rallied on the news, but profit-takers appeared to arrive as the day progressed.

Fed Watch: Productivity

Productivity is one of the critical data points the Fed reviews to determine its next steps with monetary policy. Producing more goods or services with fewer resources helps the economy grow while managing inflation risks.

The 3.2 percent productivity gains in Q4 reported last week were mainly attributed to the post-pandemic repair of supply chains. However, investors may hope that artificial intelligence will play a more significant role in productivity increases.

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: Consumer Price Index. Treasury Statement.

Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Producer Price Index. Retail Sales. Business Inventories.

Friday: Industrial Production. Import and Export Prices. Consumer Sentiment.

Source: Investors Business Daily – Econoday economic calendar; March 2, 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: Lennar Corporation (LEN, LEN.B)

Wednesday: Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR)

Thursday: Oracle Corporation (ORCL), Adobe Inc. (ADBE), DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS), Getty Images Holdings, Inc. (GETY)

Source: Zacks, March 2, 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.