S&P 500 Racks Up Records Amid Fed Testimony

Hotter-than-expected nonfarm payrolls data weighed, however

Digital Content Manager
Mar 8, 2024 at 11:28 AM
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The S&P 500 Index (SPX) continued to reach new heights this week, setting both intraday peaks and a record close, but not without its challenges. A lackluster Institute for Supply Management (ISM) services index put a damper on Wall Street, while Apple's (AAPL) antitrust woes in Europe weighed on the tech sector. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's Congress testimony injected some positivity back into the markets, however, after he noted interest rate cuts could happen later this year.

A cooler-than-expected ADP jobs report also paved the way for the Nasdaq Composite's (IXIC) intraday records, which combined with the European Central Bank's (ECB) lower annual inflation and growth outlook helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) bounce. The latter remains on track for a weekly loss following hotter-than-expected nonfarm payrolls, alongside the SPX and IXIC.

Record Highs Galore

Several stocks notched record highs this week. Chip giant Nvidia (NVDA) was popular among call traders after it toppled the $2 trillion mark, while Deckers Outdoor (DECK) and Super Micro Computer (SMCI) both surged on news that they will join the SPX. A strong forecast and quarterly report also propelled CrowdStrike (CRWD) to all-time highs, and a new weight loss drug pushed Novo Nordisk (NVO) to a fresh peak.

Retail Sector Highlights

There was no shortage of retail sector headlines for investors to unpack. Macy's (M) skyrocketed after Arkhouse Management revised its buyout offer, and Target (TGT) announced a membership program and quarterly win. Foot Locker (FL) and Dollar Tree (DLTR) geared up for their respective earnings reports, while American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) and Gap (GPS) saw increased options activity after trips to the earnings confessional.

Coming Up: Key Inflation Data

The consumer price index (CPI) and producer price index (PPI) readings for February are due out next week, in addition to retail sales and jobs data. While earnings season is slowing down, reports will still come from Adobe (ADBE)Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)Kohl's (KSS)Lennar (LEN), and Oracle (ORCL). Before this economic data deluge is here, dive into why stocks continue to brush off cautious sentiment, and whether or not this SPX uptrend is remarkable.

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