Another Positive Month in the Bag for Stocks

Investors were glued to January's PCE price index reading

Deputy Editor
Mar 1, 2024 at 12:31 PM
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This week was rife with volatility, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's favorite inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index. Preceding the reading was Amazon.com (AMZN) replacing Walgreen Boots Alliance (WBA) on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), as well as a higher Treasury yield market. Durable goods orders also fell in January, while consumer confidence dipped below economists' expectations.

Even a mostly upbeat gross domestic product (GDP) revision failed to boost investor sentiment. But it turned around after the highly-anticipated PCE reading met traders' expectations, helping Wall Street clock its fourth-straight monthly win. Its a similarly mixed bag to close out the week, as the S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) look to log their fourth weekly win in five, while the Dow heads for a loss.

Another Loaded Week of Corporate Reports

The earnings confessional remained packed this week, and the results were better than expected for the most part. Lowe's Companies (LOW) hit a 52-week high after reported upbeat fourth-quarter results, while Best Buy (BBY) stock clocked a seven day winning streak after an upbeat report. Alternative meat company Beyond Meat (BYND) surpassed revenue estimates and announced cost-cutting measures, and Wall Street newbie Cava Group (CAVA) scored  yet another upbeat quarter.

Elsewhere, shares of cloud computing firms Snowflake (SNOW) and Salesforce (CRM) moved in vastly different directions after earnings, while retail giants Urban Outfitters (URBN) and TJX Companies (TJX) did the same. Finally, Novavax (NVX) stock secured its worst session since 2022 after missing top- and bottom-line expectations.

Deluge of Jobs Data Just Ahead

The first full week of March features a host of jobs data, as well as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's semiannual testimony before Congress. In addition, reports from Costco Wholesale (COST), Foot Locker (FL), Gap (GPS),  Target (TGT), and United Natural Foods (UNFI), among others, are due. We're also monitoring whether large caps can continue to leg out small caps, while keeping in mind the levels to watch amid ongoing market momentum.

 

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