Wall Street sees slight declines. Macro data showed a mixed picture for the US economy

Luc Williams

The Dow Jones Industrial was up 0.21% at the close. and amounted to 39,394.72 points. The S&P 500 lost 0.28% at the end of the day. and amounted to 5,203.58 points. The index falls for the third day in a row. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.42%. and closed the session at 16,315.70 points. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap companies is down 0.16%. and amounted to 2,070.75 points. The VIX volatility index increases by 0.38%, to 13.24 points. The main indices are on track to end March on a positive note. This would be the fifth consecutive month of growth on US stock markets. The S&P has gained more than 2% so far in March, the Dow is up 0.8% and the Nasdaq is up 1.8%.

“It should be a relatively quiet, shortened week to end the month.”

“The market is broadening, it's attracting more of these cyclical sectors, and that's supported by the data coming in, which suggests the economy is still in good shape, but inflation is still positive and still above target,” said Tom Hainlin, senior investment strategist at US Bank Asset Management. “It should be a relatively quiet, shortened week to end the month,” added Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird.

One of the few sources of purchases on the stock market are corporate share buyouts, Bank of America experts believe. Bank of America equity strategist Jill Carey Hall wrote in a note to clients Tuesday that corporate buybacks are at multi-year highs and are helping keep the market from moving too far away from record highs. “Equities saw inflows in all three size segments (small/medium/large). But excluding corporate clients – where flows are always positive – clients were net sellers of US equities last week – private clients for the 7th consecutive week, hedge funds for third and institutional clients for the first time in six weeks,” it was written in the note.

Economic data released on Tuesday was mixed, showing stronger-than-expected orders for durable goods but weakening consumer confidence. “Drifting higher here makes sense without a significant negative catalyst,” Mayfield said.

The Richmond Fed's manufacturing activity index dropped to -11 points in March. with -5 points a month earlier. Analysts expected the index to be -5 points. The American consumer confidence index fell to 104.7 points in March. with 104.8 points a month earlier, after correction from 106.7 points. Analysts expected the index to reach 107 points. The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, showing real estate prices in the 20 largest cities in the United States, increased by 6.59% in January. y/y and increased by 0.14%. mdm. Analysts expected the index to increase by 6.6%. rdr. A month earlier, the index increased by 6.15%. rdr.

The FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) real estate price index, which provides information on changes in average prices of single-family houses in the US, fell by 0.1% in January. mdm. The market expected the index to increase by 0.3%. mdm. A month earlier, the FHFA real estate price index increased by 0.1%. mdm. Orders for durable goods in the US increased by 1.4% in February. mdm compared to the expected decline of 1%. and a decline of 6.9%. a month earlier, after correction from -6.2 percent. – reported the Department of Commerce in the first calculation. Orders for durable goods excluding means of transport increased by 0.5% on a monthly basis. compared to -0.3 percent a month earlier, after correction from -0.4 percent. Here the expected +0.4 percent. mdm.

Were higher inflation readings for January and February due to temporary data disruptions?

Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee said he would make three interest rate cuts this year, while Fed Governor Lisa Cook urged caution on interest rate changes and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic repeated Friday's comments in which he limited his expectations to one percent rate cut. CME FedWatch indicates that the market is currently pricing in 70 percent. chances of a Fed rate cut in June.

“Comments from FOMC participants suggest to us that four bankers – Bostic, Bowman, Mester and Barkin – expect zero, one or two interest rate cuts this year. We continue to believe that Chairman Jerome Powell has eight votes for easing monetary policy at his disposal, but “probably doesn't want an 8-4 vote for the first cut in the cycle. Rather, he may hope that good inflation readings will allow those few people to move into the cutting camp in the coming months,” said Steve Englander, a strategist at Standard Chartered.

“We believe the higher inflation readings for January and February were partially due to temporary data disruptions, and we expect more favorable data in the remainder of 2024 will translate into a lower year-end inflation rate,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

From companies, almost 3 percent Tesla gained. Seagate Technology shares rose over 7 percent. after Morgan Stanley analysts raised their recommendation for this company to “overweight” on the wave of optimism related to artificial intelligence solutions.

Krispy Kreme increased by 39%. after the donut seller announced an expansion of its partnership with McDonald's. Micron Technologies rose over 1%. after reaching a record high in the last session, while Nvidia is gaining 1%. Dell Technologies rose over 1%. after the company said it had reduced its workforce as part of a broader cost-cutting initiative that included cutting outside hiring and reorganizing its workforce. United Parcel Service lost over 8%. despite better-than-expected consolidated revenues for 2026.

The shares of Trump Media and Technology Group, the former president's company, increased by over 30%. in the first hours of trading on the New York Nasdaq stock exchange, and at the end of the day they gained 16%. As the Wall Street Journal writes, the “shocking” increases increased the value of Donald Trump's shares to over USD 5 billion. On the oil market, WTI contracts for April are down by 0.57%. to USD 81.48 per barrel, and May Brent futures fall by 0.80%. up to USD 86.06/b.


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