By Gerry Sparrow
Stocks retreated in the first trading week of 2024, struggling a bit after a celebratory end to last year as investors second-guessed Fed signals and fretted over lingering inflation concerns.
New Year Blues
Stocks got off to a rough first week of the new year, with tech names leading the week’s decline. Several market observers called it the “reverse Goldilocks” effect, where the market decided investors were getting a little too excited over the prospect of a Fed rate cut.
Stocks bounced up and down each of the four trading days but ended each one down—except Friday, when the Dow Industrials, Nasdaq Composite, and S&P 500 all ended the day in the green when jobs data helped soften the week’s slide.1,2
All About the Fed
On Wednesday, manufacturing news came in better than expected, lifting markets until the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes were released, revealing that the Fed members had discussed rate cuts for 2024 but in no specific terms.
Jobs and services sector news painted a better picture of the economy on Thursday, but as the 10-year Treasury hit 4%, stock prices responded negatively.
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1. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
2. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
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