September 22, 2023, Weekly Stock Market Return Recap. Stocks dropped for the third straight week and the broad market equity index marked its sharpest weekly loss since March: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq dropped 2.9% and 3.6%, respectively, while Dow Jones ultimately ended the week 1.9% lower. Moreover, the S&P 500 dipped below its 100-day moving average - a key support level. Though the Fed took no rate action during this month’s FOMC meeting, the door was left wide open for future hikes. Twelve participants at the meeting penciled in the additional hike, while seven opposed it. That put one more in opposition than at the June meeting. Markets had fully priced in no move at this meeting, which kept the fed funds rate in a targeted range between 5.25%-5.5%, the highest in some 22 years. Fed Chair Powell also said an additional hike at one of the two remaining Fed meetings for 2023 was “more than likely” and "It's a real rate that will matter and that needs to be sufficiently restrictive." Projections released in the Fed's dot plot showed the probability of one more increase this year, then two cuts in 2024; there were two fewer cuts than what was indicated during the last update in June. In other news, the three months leading to June, S&P 500 companies spent just $175 billion on share buybacks, a sharp 20% drop compared with the year before, according to the Financial Times.
September 15, 2023, Weekly Stock Market Return Recap. Wall Street marked another losing week for stocks: The S&P 500 dropped 1.2%, the Dow Jones declined 0.8% and the Nasdaq composite fell 1.6%. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.6% over last month and 3.7% over the prior year in August, an acceleration from July's 0.2% monthly increase and 3.2% annual gain in prices. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were looking for respective increases of 0.6% and 3.6%. Other capital market distractions include union workers’ strike against all Big Three Auto companies. for first time in history, and China flailing economy showing some growth improvement, except for the lingering threat of a looming real estate collapse.
September 8, 2023, Weekly Stock Market Return Recap. US equity markets declined on investor concerns over China’s iPhone curbs, spiking energy costs and unemployment claims hitting their lowest levels since February. Indeed, the latter two factors reignited fears that these inflationary and economic signs could push the Fed to continue its rate hike path. For the week, the S&P 500 dropped -1.3%, the Dow Jones declined -0.8% and the Nasdaq fell -1.9%.
September 1, 2023, Weekly Stock Market Return Recap. Wall Street closes out first losing month since February with the S&P 500 -1.8% and the Dow Jones -0.5%. The number of open jobs in the US dropped to its lowest level in more than two years last month as signs of a slowdown in the labor market grew in July. However, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure of Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) edged higher in July, reversing some of the prior month's sharp drop. The PCE Index rose 4.2% over the prior year in July, up from 4.1% in June. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and European Central Bank ("ECB") President Christine Lagarde reiterated they have no plans to change their 2% inflation goal at last week's Jackson Hole Economic Symposium.