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Weekly Market Insights: Another Advancing Week For Tech And AI

Weekly Market Insights: Another Advancing Week For Tech And AI

March 04, 2024

Stocks continued their upward trend last week led by the tech sector, as consumer confidence remained strong.

Nasdaq Sets New High

Stocks remained within a narrow range at the beginning of the week but ended the week on a high note. Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced a slight decline, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite saw significant gains powered by artificial intelligence (AI) stocks. The Nasdaq fluctuated around 16,000 for the majority of the week before setting consecutive record highs on Thursday and Friday, surpassing its 2021 record. It was the last of the three major stock benchmarks to reach a record high this year.

In addition to the strong performance of AI stocks, the markets were also boosted by positive economic news. The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index, which is the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation indicator, rose by 0.3% in January compared to December, and by 2.4% on a 12-month basis, in line with expectations. This report was released on Thursday and helped to uplift the stock market.

Source: YCharts.com, March 2, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, February 26, to Friday, March 1.
ROC 5 = the rate of change in the index for the previous 5 trading days.
TR = total return for the index, which includes any dividends as well as any other cash distributions during the period.
Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.

Consumers Remain Upbeat

It's easy to get caught up in all the excitement surrounding AI and forget to pay attention to other important economic indicators that speak to the strength of the economy. The consumer data is one such crucial factor.

Apart from the closely-monitored PCE report, a survey conducted at the end of the week revealed that although the sentiment softened in February, it still remained close to a 32-month high. Recently released data also indicated an unexpected growth in personal income.

Furthermore, the PCE report also revealed a continued shift in consumer behavior from goods to services, which is a positive sign that the economy is normalizing after the pandemic. As consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the gross domestic product, these metrics related to consumer behavior support the narrative that the economy is gaining momentum.

This Week: Key Economic Data

Monday: Motor Vehicle Sales.

Tuesday: Factory Orders. ISM Services Index.

Wednesday: ADP Employment Report. JOLTS. Beige Book.

Thursday: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Speech. Jobless Claims. International Trade in Goods & Services. Productivity and Costs.

Friday: Employment Situation.


Source: Investors Business Daily - Econoday economic calendar; February 27, 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: Target Corporation (TGT)

Wednesday: Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR), Campbell Soup Company (CPB)

Thursday: Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), Broadcom Inc. (AVGO), The Kroger Co. (KR)

Source: Zacks, February 27, 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 risk tolerance. 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.

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Food For Thought

"When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity."

– Bruce Lee

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Tax Tip


Owe the IRS Money? Here’s How to Pay

If you owe federal taxes, it's important to pay them by the April deadline. Even if you get an extension to file your taxes, the payment is still due by the April deadline. If you're unable to pay the total amount you owe at present, you may be able to set up a payment plan.

There are various options available to make your payment, including:

• Use Direct Pay: IRS Direct Pay is a free and secure method to pay directly from your checking or savings account.

• Pay by debit or credit card: If you prefer not to link a bank account, you can use your credit or debit card. However, keep in mind that you'll have to pay a processing fee and may incur interest charges.

• Pay when you e-file: If you file your federal tax return electronically, you can pay directly from your bank account using electronic funds withdrawal.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace real-life advice. Therefore, it's recommended to consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals before modifying your tax strategy.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov5


Eat This, Not That: Easy Food Swaps Anyone Can Do

Eating healthier doesn’t have to be hard! You might not have to make any significant changes in your current diet. You can cut calories and still enjoy your meal by swapping out unhealthy options for healthier picks. Here are some of our favorite food swaps:

Eating healthy doesn't have to be a difficult task! You might not need to make significant changes to your current diet to cut calories and still enjoy your meals. You can swap out unhealthy options for healthier alternatives to achieve this. Here are some of our favorite food swaps that can help you reduce caloric intake, consume less sugar, and create more balanced meals:

- Mustard instead of mayonnaise (0 calories vs. 90 calories)
- Scrambled eggs with green onions instead of cheese (170 calories vs. 275 calories)
- Sparkling water instead of soda (0 calories vs. 140 calories)
- Fresh fruit instead of dried fruit (69 calories vs. 325 calories)
- Greek yogurt instead of sour cream (28 calories vs. 60 calories)
- Olive oil spray instead of a tablespoon of olive oil (5 calories vs. 120 calories)
- Corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas (100 calories vs. 280 calories)
- All-bran cereal instead of granola (80 calories vs. 200 calories)
- Goat cheese instead of brie cheese (70 calories vs. 100 calories)

By making healthy swaps like these, you can still enjoy the food you love while making healthier choices.


Tip adapted from EatThis.com6

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Riddle Of The Week


You can’t outrun it or hide from it. You only notice it when there is light, but it shows only darkness. What is it?

  

Last week’s riddle: Kristi and David live at opposite ends of a metro area but attend the same college. David left for campus 30 minutes before Kristi, and they met at a coffee house. Who was closer to campus when they met? Answer: They were both at the same distance from campus when they met each other, as they met at the same location.

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Photo Of The Week


Gherkin, Financial District, London, UK

 

Footnotes and Sources


1. The Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2024

2. CNBC.com, February 29, 2024

3. MarketWatch.com, March 01, 2024

4. CNBC.com, February 27, 2024.

5. IRS.gov, December 1, 2023

6. EatThis.com, December 18, 2023

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.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

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