Weekly market report: May 20, 2024

Weekly market report: May 20, 2024


During the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 Index, and Nasdaq Composite all reached all-time highs; the Dow, in particular, crossed the 40,000 mark for the first time. Growth stocks thrived as concerns about inflation and interest rates seemed to abate, possibly partly because of the smaller implicit discount on future earnings.

The Labor Department's announcement on Wednesday of its April consumer price index (CPI), which came in at or slightly below forecasts after three months of hotter-than-expected prints, seemed to be the main driver of the positive sentiment.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note dropped to its lowest point in more than a month at the middle of the week due in part to the negative growth and inflation surprises.


Despite rising by 0.42%, the STOXX Europe 600 Index fell short of the record high it reached earlier in the week. Speculative remarks by members of the European Central Bank (ECB) seemed to dampen hopes over the degree of monetary policy relaxation this year. Major major indexes saw mixed results. The DAX in Germany dropped by 0.36%, and the CAC 40 Index in France fell by 0.63%. The FTSE MIB in Italy rose 2.14%. The FTSE 100 Index concluded somewhat lower in the UK.


With the Nikkei 225 Index rising 1.5% and the larger TOPIX Index rising 0.6%, Japanese stocks concluded the week on a positive note. This occurred in spite of the poor economy and range-bound yen on predictions of U.S. interest rate cuts, as well as the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) cautious hawkishness, which also caused Japanese government bond (JGB) yields to slightly rise.


After the central government launched a historic rescue program on Friday to stabilize the nation's collapsing property sector, Chinese equities saw little movement. The blue-chip CSI 300 gained 0.32%, but the Shanghai Composite Index was essentially unchanged. The benchmark Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong increased by 3.11%.


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