Markets Mar 05, 2024 03:59 AM EST

S&P 500 Waits Anxiously for Clues on Inflation and Growth

By April Fowell

Following a tumultuous trading day, the S&P 500 ended the week marginally down as investors paused in anticipation of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's congressional appearance and economic data.

S&P 500 Waits Anxiously for Clues on Inflation and Growth

(Photo : by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Following a tumultuous trading day, the S&P 500 ended the week marginally down as investors paused in anticipation of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's congressional appearance and economic data.

In response to a $2 billion EU antitrust penalties, Spotify and other music streaming services were prohibited from notifying consumers of payment choices available outside of its App Store. As a result, Apple finished down 2.5 percent.

Chip stock rallies, led by Nvidia helped push the S&P 500 to new intraday highs during the session. Despite investors' general caution ahead of economic data, investors continued to gamble on the need for technologies that fuel artificial intelligence (AI).

However, the S&P 500 lost ground once again in the last hour of trading, returning to the negative territory in the final minutes of trade following a brief positive reversal late in the day.

According to NFJ Investment Group portfolio manager Burns McKinney, "this is one of those days where investors are on hold for the economic data that's coming out later this week."

According to Scott Wren, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, investors were waiting for insights into the state of the U.S. economy from crucial monthly statistics, such as readings on the service sector, which are expected on Tuesday, and non-farm payrolls data, which are due on Friday.

"The market is currently grappling with uncertainties surrounding the economy, earnings, and the Federal Reserve," remarked Wren. He highlighted that both institutional and retail investors are experiencing a fear of missing out as they witness stocks reaching new highs.

Wren elaborated, stating, "There's institutional money that cannot afford to remain sidelined while the S&P 500 continues its upward trajectory, and retail investors are beginning to share similar sentiments." He acknowledged that stock valuations are high but emphasized that this doesn't preclude the possibility of further appreciation before a potential pullback.

Momentum and optimistic sentiment are currently propelling the market forward, according to Wren's observations.

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Market Indices Movement and Sector Performance

The S&P 500 lost 6.13 points, or 0.12%, to 5,130.95, the Nasdaq Composite sank 67.43 points, or 0.41%, to 16,207.51, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 97.55 points, or 0.25%, to 38,989.83.

The S&P 500's defensive utilities sector gained 1.6% on the day, while the communications services index ended the day as the benchmark's worst sector, down 1.5%.

As the tech surge powered by artificial intelligence continues to dominate Wall Street, the Nasdaq began March by setting an intraday record high on Friday and finishing at that level for two days in a row.

The S&P 500 has also been trending upward recently, rising by more than 21% with advances in four of the last five months through February. BofA Global Research increased its benchmark index year-end projection by 5% from 5,000 to 5,400, reflecting current levels.

Investors are awaiting remarks from Fed Chair Powell, who is scheduled to speak before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday, in addition to economic data.

Related article:Red Alert on Wall Street: Stocks Tumble With Apple Leading the Retreat


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