Unexpectedly Intriguing!
01 July 2024
A Wall Street bull and bear looking out at a calm sea with no wind or waves from a ship. Image generated with Microsoft Copilot Designer.

Time for a pop quiz. What was the biggest market-moving headline from the past week?

BZZZ, time's up! It's a trick question because no news story moved the needle for the stock market during the past week. The S&P 500 (Index: SPX) closed out the week of trading at 5,460.48, down 0.08% from where it closed the previous Friday.

The lack of market moving news and change in the level of the index coincides with the early arrival of the summer doldrums for the U.S. stock market. This is the period after most companies have reported their earnings for the previous quarter, where we must now wait until the next quarter to find out what changes in outlook might alter the index' trajectory by changing investor expectations.

The relative lack of action in the week's trading can be seen in the latest update for the alternative futures chart, in which we find the level of stock prices falls to the low side of the trajectory associated with investors focusing on 2024-Q3.

Alternative Futures - S&P 500 - 2024Q2 - Standard Model (m=+1.5 from 9 March 2023) - Snapshot on 28 Jun 2024

2024-Q3 continues to hold the forward-looking focus of investors because of the anticipated timing of the Federal Reserve's first rate cut in years. The CME Group's FedWatch Tool anticipates the Fed will hold the Federal Funds Rate steady in a target range of 5.25-5.50% until 18 September (2024-Q3), the same as it forecast in the previous week. The tool anticipates the Fed will start a series of 0.25% rate cuts on that date, which will occur at 12 week intervals well into 2025.

Meanwhile, we weren't kidding when we said it was a slow news week. Here's what passed as market-moving news in the week that was.

Monday, 24 June 2024
Tuesday, 25 June 2024
Wednesday, 26 June 2024
Thursday, 27 June 2024
Friday, 28 June 2024

The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow tool's forecast of annualized real GDP growth rate during 2024-Q2 dropped to +2.2%, falling from the +3.1% growth projected a week earlier.

When it comes to market moving news, this upcoming week may be even slower than the trading week ending on Friday, 28 June 2024 given the timing of the Fourth of July market holiday in the United States. We'll all find out if that hypothesis holds soon enough....

Image credit: Microsoft Copilot Designer. Prompt: "A Wall Street bull and bear looking out at a calm sea with no wind or waves from a ship".

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