Markets “In a Nutshell” for February 5, 2024
Investment Week at a Glance
Stocks finished higher for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.40%, the S&P 500 was up 1.40%, and the NASDAQ rose 1.10%. Foreign stocks (MSCI EAFE) were also up, rising 0.40%. Bond prices were up for the week, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury ending the week at 4.02%. (Data source: Wall Street Journal)
Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged
As expected, the Federal Reserve left rates unchanged following their meeting. The market paid close attention to Fed Chair Powell as he signaled that rates would be left unchanged for longer than the market had expected earlier this year. Despite this, markets still had a nice week and both stocks and bonds were positive for the week as they continued their move higher. The S&P 500 has now rallied 20% in the last three months as economic data continues to be strong and expectations of the Fed cutting rates at some point this year continue. The main risk to the market currently seems to be the uncertainty of when these rate cuts will come. Although this could cause some bumps in the road, the economic data has continued to be strong as the economy has been able to adjust to the higher rates for now.
Labor Market Continues to be Strong
The most recent jobs report came out and was a big surprise to the upside as the economy added 353,000 payrolls in January which was double expectations. This number was the largest in over a year and the second straight month over 330,000, the first time since the summer of 2022 we saw two months of that magnitude of job growth. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7%, just 0.3% away from the 50-year low. The reason for the unemployment rate being unchanged despite the job numbers was the labor force grew last month. One interesting number was wage growth which rose to 4.5%, this helps the consumer keep spending and keeping the economy strong. The one worry is this could be a sign that the inflation fight may not be over and the Fed will need to stay higher for longer. This data could take away any chance of a rate cut in March or May, but things could change depending on the new data we see in the coming months.
How much does the average 30-second Super Bowl commercial cost? (Scroll Down for Answer)
Have a Great Week!
4. $7 million. The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and the average cost of a 30-second commercial is at an all-time high, up $500k from last year. It is expected that $500 million of ad revenue will be generated from Super Bowl commercials this year.