Broker Check

Market Recap

May 15, 2024

The markets enjoyed a solid week of gains during the first week of May on the heels of favorable corporate earnings data and a softer-than-expected employment report. Investors could be viewing the dip in job hires and wage growth as the fuel the Federal Reserve needs to consider interest rate cuts. The Fed has consistently maintained that a softening labor market would help drive inflation lower. Weekly jobless claims rose more than expected, offering even more hope for an interest rate cut.

Stocks edged higher to start the first week of May as investors awaited a batch of key earnings and the results of the latest Federal Reserve meeting. The Federal Reserve decided to maintain current interest rates as highly expected. Stocks then closed higher the day following, snapping a two-day losing streak. While investors probably conceded that interest rates will not be coming down any time soon, they took solace in the Fed's suggestion that rates won't be increasing either.

The market closed the second week of May higher. Investor sentiment was bolstered by good corporate earnings results from key megacaps. Of the 459 companies of the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, 77% beat consensus predictions. The Dow rode an eight-session winning streak, while the S&P 500 approached a record high.

Reviewing returns for the first half of May, the markets all posted significant gains. As of market close on May 15th, the Dow rose 2,092 points (5.53%), the S&P 500 grew 273 points (5.41%) and the NASDAQ gained 1,085 points (6.93%).

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