Market Commentaries

  • Last Week’s Markets in Review: Rate Cut Expectations Shift

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    Global equity markets finished mixed for the week. In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index closed the Week at a level of 5,432, representing an increase of 1.62%, while the Russell Midcap Index moved 0.05% last Week. Meanwhile, the Russell 2000 Index, a measure of the Nation’s smallest publicly traded firms, returned -0.95% over the Week. As developed international equity performance and emerging markets were also mixed, returning -2.62% and 0.51%, respectively. Finally, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield moved lower, closing the week at 4.22%.

    Happy belated Father’s Day to all! Last week, the Federal Reserve’s updated Dot Plot chart showed that they took away two potential 25 Bp interest rate cuts in 2024 and added one each to 2025 and 2026, respectively, despite raising their inflation forecast for 2024 again – this time to 2.8%. Hence, they are still projecting 225 Bp in rate cuts by the end of 2026. However, the potential rate cuts are occurring at a gradual pace that is different from what was projected earlier. It is important to note that the Fed has four more meetings scheduled this year, in July, September, November, and December, and that expectations and outcomes for rate cuts can still change during the course of these meetings as the Fed remains “data dependent.” It is also important to note that while the Fed’s

    Regarding inflation, the Labor Department reported last week that the consumer price index (CPI) was almost flat from the previous month and up 3.3% year-over-year, with core prices showing their mildest gains since 2021. This report suggested a broad slowdown in price pressures, encouraging some analysts to see September as a possible date for the first interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

    Unexpectedly strong price growth at the beginning of the year had derailed earlier expectations for rate cuts. The Fed’s latest projections, submitted last week, reflected caution, with officials describing their inflation forecasts as conservative. Fed officials now expect core inflation to rise 2.8% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, up from the 2.6% projected in March. They also anticipate core inflation to slow to 2.3% next year and to their 2% target by the end of 2026.

    The Federal Reserve will have a great deal more data to analyze (and potentially act upon) by their mid-September meeting – their last scheduled meeting before the November presidential election.

    Best wishes for the week ahead!

    Equity Market, Fixed Income returns, and rates are from Bloomberg as of 6/14/24Economic Calendar Data from Econoday as of 6/17/24. International developed markets are measured by the MSCI EAFE Index, emerging markets are measured by the MSCI EM Index, and U.S. Large Caps are defined by the S&P 500 Index. Sector performance is measured using the GICS methodology.

    Disclosures: Past performance does not guarantee future results. We have taken this information from sources that we believe to be reliable and accurate. Hennion and Walsh cannot guarantee the accuracy of said information and cannot be held liable. You cannot invest directly in an index. Diversification can help mitigate the risk and volatility in your portfolio but does not ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss.

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