Fed Optimism, Chip Sector Power Record-Filled Week

The Fed still plans to cut rates three times this year

Digital Content Manager
Mar 22, 2024 at 1:32 PM
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The Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) two-day meeting and subsequent move to keep interest rates unchanged -- while still planning to cut them three times this year -- were top of mind this week. Treasury yields fell as stocks rallied, pushing all three major benchmarks to record closes, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) crossing the 5,200 mark. 

The three major indexes extended those records as the chip and broader tech sectors surged, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) joining the SPX in stringing together four consecutive gains. The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) lagged amid this optimism, and while Wall Steet was mixed on Friday, the DJI and SPX were still on track for their best weekly performance so far in 2024.

Chip Stocks Steal the Show

The semiconductor sector had yet another busy week. Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) considered  building advanced packaging capacity in Japan, while Micron Technology (MU) scored a bull note before its quarterly earnings report, then hit record highs after beating expectations. The buzz surrounding the latter's results lifted Marvell Technology (MRVL), with Broadcom (AVGO) surging to an all-time peak as well.

Not one to be left out of the action, Nvidia (NVDA) unveiled a new generation of artificial intelligence (AI) chips at its first ever GTC Conference. Meanwhile, Intel (INTC) secured $8.5 billion in government funding for high-end chip manufacturing, and $11 billion in loans.

Retail Highlights

Retailers also had their moment in the spotlight. Dick's Sporting Goods Stock (DKS) flashed a historically bullish signal, and an analyst upgrade boosted Best Buy (BBY). Gap (GPS) was also in focus after delivering a healthy profit to options bulls, while both Nike (NKE) and Lululemon Athletica (LULU) brushed off their upbeat quarterly results.

Interest Rate Decision Ahead

The last week of March is coming, and with it plenty of economic indicators, including a personal consumption expenditures (PCE) reading and consumer confidence data. In terms of earnings, investors will be expecting to hear from BlackBerry (BB), Carnival (CCL)Cintas (CTAS), GameStop (GME), in addition to Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA). Now may be a a good time to understand why a sentiment shift could be indicative of a market top, and determine whether investment newsletters are too bullish.
 

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