In Markets "In a Nutshell"

Markets “In a Nutshell” for June 24, 2024

Investment Week at a Glance

Stocks finished up for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.50%, the S&P 500 was up 0.60%, and the NASDAQ was flat. Foreign stocks (MSCI EAFE) were up, rising 0.10%. Bond prices were down for the week, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury ending the week at 4.26%.  (Data source: Wall Street Journal)

Inflation Weighs on Consumer

Despite inflation coming back to more normal levels in recent months, the consumer is continuing to feel the effects. The consumer sentiment index fell to a 7-month low which gauges how people feel about personal finances and overall business conditions. This comes as somewhat of a surprise as markets are near all-time highs and people’s home values continue to be near all-time highs as well. Unemployment has risen slightly but is still at healthy levels as well. One reason the consumer is feeling uneasy is that most have had to draw their savings down to keep up with inflation and now the savings are running out. This is forcing people back into the workforce as well as fewer people quitting their jobs. Overall, the economy seems to be in a strong place, it may just take a while for consumers to not have sticker shock as prices most likely will never decrease going forward.

Concentration in S&P 500

The S&P 500 is the main index for the United States in which 500 companies make up the index based on market cap size. This means the bigger companies hold a larger weight than the smaller ones. Currently, the index is very top-heavy heavy with Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Apple making up over 20% of the index. The larger companies have continued to carry the index to all-time highs in the past few years. If we look at an equal-weight S&P 500 fund where each company makes up 0.2% no matter the market cap, that index is only up 6% compared to the S&P 500 which is up 16%. When looking at the past 5 years the S&P 500 has beaten the equal weight by over 30%. But if we go back to 2003, the equal weight is outperforming the market cap-based S&P 500. This tends to play out over the long run and is a good reason to stay diversified and not let a few companies carry that much weight on your portfolio.


How many job openings are there in the United States? (Scroll Down for Answer)

  1.     13.2 million
  2.     10.8 million
  3.     8.1 million
  4.     5.9 million


























Answer below.



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3.    8.1 million. There are currently 8.1 million job openings in the United States. This number has fallen from over 12 million in March of 2022.