Positive Momentum on Wall Street Despite Dimming Rate Cut Hopes

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In a week where expectations of a Fed rate cut in March waned after Jerome Powell’s speech and the US employment report, Wall Street experienced an overall positive trend. Robust earnings reports from major tech companies drove US indices to new highs. Conversely, Europe faced challenges, with disappointing results from several large caps, leading to a slight dip in the market.

Weekly Market Highlights:

  • US 500: Gained 1.38%, reaching 4958.

  • NASDAQ 100:Rose by 1.27%, closing at 17642.73.

  • FTSE 100: Slightly declined by 0.26%, settling at 7615.54.

  • GOLD:Increased by 0.79%, closing at $2037.75.

  • WTI:Dropped by 8.26%, reaching $72.31.

  • EURO / US DOLLAR:Declined by 0.50%, settling at 1.08.

Notable Gainers:
1. META PLATFORMS, INC. (+20.49%):Meta surprised the market with better-than-expected results, a massive share buyback, and its first dividend, leading to a nearly tripled share price in the last year.

  1. EDWARDS LIFESCIENCES (+17.55%): The medical technology firm reported record growth, boosting investor confidence and driving a notable stock increase.

  2. CORTEVA, INC. (+15.66%): Exceeded Wall Street earnings expectations in Q4, showcasing resilience despite challenges in the crop protection sector and the drought in Brazil.

Notable Losers:

  1. Gen Digital (-17%): The cybersecurity software provider’s shares fell following lower-than-expected earnings in the third quarter.

  2. Rockwell Automation (-14%): Faced challenges due to supply chain issues and weak demand, resulting in disappointing results and a lowered guidance.

  3. UPS (-10%): Despite announcing a vast restructuring plan to save $1 billion annually, the stock declined, reflecting concerns over market share loss and weakened results.

Commodities Overview:

  • Energy:Oil prices retreated despite geopolitical tensions, with Brent crude trading at USD 78.30. Concerns about the Chinese economy’s robustness and the Fed’s comments contributed to the decline.

  • Metals: Copper, aluminum, and lead prices held steady, while gold, initially resistant to Fed announcements, reversed course and settled around USD 2030.

  • Agricultural Products: Grain prices in Chicago remained gloomy, with corn struggling at 447 cents a bushel, and wheat gradually sliding towards 600 cents.

Macroeconomic Insights:

  • Atmosphere:The Fed Chairman’s indication against a rate cut in March and strong US employment figures reduced the probability of monetary easing to 17%. Inflation varied across Europe, and China’s efforts to revive the financial system faced challenges due to the ongoing real estate crisis.

  • Crypto: Bitcoin and Ether experienced slight gains, with bitcoin struggling to surpass $42,600. Bitcoin recorded five consecutive months of gains but faced challenges in reaching new highs.

Looking Ahead:

Earnings reports from traditional companies and speeches by US central bankers are anticipated next week. Notable companies include McDonald’s, Caterpillar, BP Plc, UBS, and TotalEnergies. Investors will also monitor Chinese producer and consumer prices for market insights.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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