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Stock Market Struggles After a Strong Run as Inflation Data Looms

November 13, 2023
minute read

U.S. stocks experienced a predominantly lower trend on Monday morning, with investors assessing the potential for a federal government shutdown by the end of the week and anticipating crucial inflation data in the coming days.

Key Points:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) showed a modest gain of 30 points, or 0.1%, reaching 34,316.
  • The S&P 500 (SPX) declined by 1 point, or less than 0.1%, settling at 4,412.
  • The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) dropped by 18 points, or 0.1%, reaching 13,779.
  • In the previous week, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite exhibited positive momentum, securing consecutive weekly gains.

Market Dynamics:The S&P 500 witnessed a substantial 7.2% surge over the past two weeks, driven by a rapid decline in benchmark borrowing costs, fostering optimism that softer job data could lead to further inflation relief. The market displayed a more cautious sentiment at the beginning of the new week, awaiting the U.S. consumer-price index report for October on Tuesday, which could either support or halt the recent bull run. Treasury yields were on the rise again, with the 10-year note rate up by 4.6 basis points at 4.656%.

Inflation and Economic Indicators:Market focus remains on the upcoming U.S. consumer-price index report for October, with core CPI growth expected to remain steady at 0.3% month-on-month. The producer prices report for October is scheduled for Wednesday, while October retail sales data will be released later in the week, offering additional insights into consumer health.

Market Sentiment and Concerns:Investors are monitoring the market cautiously, especially considering Moody's Investors Service's downgrade of the U.S. credit outlook and concerns about a potential federal government shutdown by the week's end. The government short-term funding deadline on November 17 adds to uncertainties.

Analyst Insights:Chris Larkin, Managing Director of Trading and Investing at E-Trade from Morgan Stanley, noted that the market might be more jittery than usual amid the credit outlook downgrade and the looming government shutdown possibility.

Political and Economic Factors:Moody's Investors Service's decision to cut the U.S. sovereign credit rating outlook to negative, coupled with worries about a dysfunctional government, has added to market concerns. The government short-term funding deadline and the lack of progress in securing a new deal contribute to uncertainties.

Corporate Earnings:Investors are also paying attention to reports from major retailers, including Home Depot Inc. (HD), Target Corp. (TGT), and Walmart Inc. (WMT) as they conclude the third-quarter earnings season. Insights from these companies may influence perceptions regarding the Federal Reserve and the overall health of the consumer.

Market Outlook:Positive earnings growth and increasing optimism about the Federal Reserve concluding its rate-hiking cycle have driven a robust rally in recent weeks. If the macroeconomic environment remains favorable, investors may shift their focus to fundamentals, potentially sustaining a classic Santa Claus rally into year-end. The U.S. federal budget update for October is scheduled for publication at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Eric Ng
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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