Mixed Inflation Readings Highlight Rocky Week

The Dow continued its second-quarter slump

Deputy Editor
Apr 12, 2024 at 2:12 PM
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It was a rocky week for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), which was on track for its fifth-straight loss on Friday, and its longest losing streak since June. The blue-chip benchmark was also trading at its lowest level since a mid-February rally that preceded record highs. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) fared somewhat better this week, the latter getting a boost from Thursday's tech rally, but were also on track for weekly losses.

A hotter-than-expected consumer price index (CPI) reading for last month was to blame for much of this pessimism, and the Federal Reserve's March meeting minutes didn't help, as they reflected officials' unease over stubbornly high inflation. Overall, Wall Street questioned whether the Fed will cut rates any time soon. However, the producer price index (PPI), which came in lower than analysts anticipated, provided some relief later in the week. 

Bull Notes This Week

There was plenty to cover on the analyst front this week, with many stocks sporting attractive entry points after recent dips. Analysts saw upside for Ulta Beauty (ULTA) after its recent selloff, Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) ahead of the release of Grand Theft Auto VI, and Ally Financial (ALLY) before earnings. American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) and Molson Coors Beverage (TAP) scored upgrades as well, alongside chip giant Nvidia (NVIDIA)GoodRx (GDRX), Nike (NKE), and GitLab (GTLB)

Newsy Stock Movers

Boeing (BA) suffered yet another in-flight issue this week. Elsewhere, semiconductor stocks faced China headwinds, while the crypto sector got a boost from Bitcoin (BTC). Pfizer (PFE) reported positive trial data for its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, while news that Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) will acquire Alpine Immune Sciences (ALPN) in a billion-dollar merger sent both ALPN and Vera Therapeutics (VERA) higher. 

More Fed Comments Next Week

The week ahead will bring a host of economic data, as well as the Fed's Beige Book report, and speeches from several Fed officials. Several big banks will report earnings next week as well. 

Since bottoming in late October last year, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has gained over 25%. Here's a summary of the best and worst-performing sectors during this period, per Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. Looking ahead, Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone points out two indicators of potential market volatility


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