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Nasdaq 100, Dow Jones, S&P 500 News: Wall Street’s Mixed Signals Amid Economic Data Uncertainty

By:
James Hyerczyk
Published: Feb 27, 2024, 15:47 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • Wall Street shows mixed results, awaits economic data.
  • Inflation concerns delay expectations for Fed rate cuts.
  • Tech and crypto stocks gain amidst market uncertainty.
Nasdaq-100 Index, S&P 500 Index, Dow Jones

In this article:

Wall Street’s Mixed Performance

Wall Street exhibited a varied performance on Tuesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average showed a minor decrease, contrasting with slight gains in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100. This variation reflects investors’ anticipation of pivotal economic data, crucial for shaping expectations around the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions.

At 15:30 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading 38957.78, down 111.45 or -0.29%. The S&P 500 Index is at 5071.20, up 1.67 or +0.03% and the Nasdaq-100 Index is trading 16007.50, up 31.25 or +0.20%.

Economic Data and Federal Reserve Policy

Investors are closely monitoring key economic indicators to assess the impact of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policies on the economy. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Commerce indicated a larger-than-expected decline in January’s durable goods orders, led by a notable decrease in transportation demand. This data, pointing to a potential economic slowdown, has increased attention on upcoming reports, especially the personal consumption expenditures price index, a vital gauge of inflation for the Fed.

Inflation and Interest Rate Cut Expectations

Inflation concerns continue to dominate, with recent figures suggesting higher than expected levels, potentially indicating a more sustained inflationary environment. Consequently, market expectations for the timing of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate reductions have been adjusted. The likelihood of a rate cut by June has seen a marked decrease, as evidenced by the changing sentiments among traders, captured by the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

Market Sentiment and Forthcoming Reports

Optimism in the market is partly sustained by the prospect of a ‘soft landing,’ where the Fed effectively controls inflation without significantly harming economic growth. Upcoming reports on GDP, jobless claims, and manufacturing activity are awaited for additional insights into the economy’s condition and potential timing for rate cuts. Additionally, upcoming speeches from Federal Reserve officials are expected to provide more clarity.

Sector Performance and Stock Movements

In sector news, technology stocks such as Tesla and Micron Technology showed strength, with Micron benefiting from the recent AI market rally. Viking Therapeutics experienced a substantial jump following positive results from its obesity treatment trials. However, healthcare stocks, including Eli Lilly, encountered some setbacks. Conversely, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings experienced an uptick due to optimistic profit forecasts. Unity Software faced a downturn after projecting lower-than-expected annual revenue.

Cryptocurrency Impact

Stocks linked to cryptocurrency, including Coinbase, Marathon Digital, and Riot Platforms, saw an upswing, correlating with a rise in Bitcoin value, signaling heightened interest from significant investors in the cryptocurrency market.

Market Forecast

In summary, the current market environment displays a combination of cautious optimism and alertness, with investors eagerly awaiting further economic data and Federal Reserve insights to determine the future course of interest rates and market trends.

Technical Analysis

Daily E-mini S&P 500 Index

E-mini S&P 500 Index just flipped to the downside on Tuesday after shrugging off earlier gains. The mixed performance suggests investors are trimming positions and taking a little profit ahead of key information on U.S. economic growth and inflation later this week.

Since hitting a record high at 5123.50 last Friday, the index has produced two-straight days of lower-lows. This isn’t a change in trend, but it does suggest the presence of sellers.

The first downside target is a minor 50% level at 5041.25. This is followed by a pair of minor bottoms at 4959.00 and 4936.50. The major support is the uptrending 50-day moving average at 4895.39.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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