In the market’s ceaseless determination to make a mountain out of every molehill, equities sold off sharply from record highs on Wednesday afternoon after Fed Chair Powell suggested that the FOMC had no plans to cut interest rates as futures markets were implying. Didn’t he have some nerve?
In the last month, Jobless Claims hit a 50-year low, Q1 GDP surprised to the upside and came in at 3.2%, the stock market was at record highs, and on Friday, Non-Farm Payrolls surprised to the upside with a reading of 263K. Are there some blemishes on the landscape? Do things always look brightest at the peak? Sure, but to say the Fed must cut rates in this environment was a bit much. By the end of the week, cooler heads prevailed, and the S&P 500 finished the week less than 20 cents off its record closing high and less than ten points below its intraday record high.
Even more encouraging was the rally in the small-cap Russell 2000, which finally broke above resistance to close at its highest level since October. Traders often look to small caps for confirmation of a rally, and while we think they are often given more importance than they deserve, their outperformance this week doesn’t hurt.
We have a lot more to cover this week, including updates on some of the key leadership groups/indicators, drivers of the market’s strength in April, how earnings season is progressing so far, how the economy is faring, and the state of consumer sentiment, among other things. To read our full Bespoke Report newsletter and access everything else Bespoke’s research platform has to offer, start a two-week free trial to one of our three membership levels. You won’t be disappointed!