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Stocks Post Best Week in 2024 Thanks to 'AI Craze'

April 26, 2024
minute read

The surge in the world's leading technology firms sparked a rally in the stock market, providing a boost to Wall Street, which also found solace in recent economic data that did not exacerbate the case for interest rate cuts in the ongoing year.

Stocks continued their upward trajectory this week following positive earnings reports from Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, which confidently communicated to investors the fruitful outcomes of their investments in artificial intelligence and cloud computing. This reassurance served as a beacon for many traders who had been questioning whether the driving force behind the bull market in stocks could maintain its momentum amidst high expectations for the industry.

According to Solita Marcelli at UBS Global Wealth Management, the latest financial performances of major technology companies have underscored the sector's robust fundamentals, mitigating concerns regarding the broader macroeconomic environment.

Marcelli emphasized the resilience of tech fundamentals, particularly those of big tech firms in the first quarter, suggesting that the recent market correction has presented attractive entry points for investments in technology and AI-related stocks.

Clark Bellin at Bellwether Wealth believes that the recent Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data keeps the possibility of rate cuts alive for 2024, albeit more likely towards the year's end.

This timing would afford the Federal Reserve the opportunity to evaluate additional inflation reports. Bellin expressed confidence in the stock market's ability to withstand heightened interest rates, citing strong earnings and companies' adaptability to thrive despite the challenging interest rate environment. He also noted that while lower interest rates would be welcomed by investors, the market could continue its upward trajectory even without rate cuts this year.

Bellin advised investors to remain vigilant for market opportunities and capitalize on the recent market pullback, which has presented discounted prices for many high-quality stocks. John Kerschner at Janus Henderson Investors highlighted the significance of each new inflation report in shaping market sentiment, indicating that while inflation remains elevated, the possibility of one or two rate cuts in 2024 is conceivable if progress continues.

Bank of America Corp. strategists, led by Michael Hartnett, suggested that the US equity market will remain reliant on a select group of mega-cap stocks for direction until a rise in real interest rates sparks concerns of a recession. They indicated that this concentration within the market will persist until real 10-year yields reach approximately 3%, or until higher yields, combined with widened credit spreads, pose a threat of recession. Elevated bond yields, adjusted for inflation, are often viewed as indicators of tight financial conditions, and they can potentially trigger stock market corrections.

In summary, the recent rally in technology stocks has buoyed the overall stock market, easing concerns about interest rate cuts while highlighting the resilience of tech fundamentals. Investors are advised to stay vigilant for opportunities amid market fluctuations and remain attuned to key economic indicators that could shape future market trends.

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

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