Home| Features| About| Customer Support| Request Demo| Our Analysts| Login
Gallery inside!

With Fed Speakers in Focus, the Stock Rally Stalls

May 21, 2024
minute read

The stock market hovered near record highs as traders awaited Nvidia Corp.’s earnings report and digested comments from various Federal Reserve officials.

Equities fluctuated after Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller mentioned that he needs “several more” months of favorable inflation data before considering rate cuts, despite recent signs of inflation improvement. Additionally, Raphael Bostic, President of the Atlanta Fed, highlighted that officials are actively debating the appropriate rate levels that neither hinder nor stimulate the economy.

The S&P 500 reduced its monthly gains, with Nvidia's shares dropping ahead of its earnings release. Palo Alto Networks Inc. experienced a significant decline due to a pessimistic forecast, while Macy’s Inc. surged after exceeding profit expectations. Lowe’s Cos. also reported strong comparable sales.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell by four basis points to 4.4%. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies saw an uptick, driven by positive signs of potential U.S. approval for exchange-traded funds that invest directly in Ether, the second-largest token, marking a shift from the more pessimistic outlook of the previous week.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. strategists noted that stock investors are preparing for increased volatility, with Nvidia’s upcoming earnings report likely to intensify market movements. The bank's risk appetite indicator reached its highest level since 2021 last week, fueled by optimism about economic growth and monetary policy, though momentum has slowed, according to a team led by Andrea Ferrario. They pointed out that CBOE Volatility Index options data indicate higher demand for protection against sudden market drops, even as the index remains at historically low levels.

In summary, the stock market's movements were closely tied to upcoming Nvidia earnings and Federal Reserve commentary. The mixed signals from Fed officials reflect the ongoing debate about the appropriate monetary policy stance amidst improving inflation data. Governor Waller's call for additional months of positive inflation figures before rate cuts contrasts with the discussions about neutral rates noted by President Bostic.

As the S&P 500 trimmed its monthly rally, individual stocks responded variably to earnings reports and forecasts. Nvidia's shares declined in anticipation of its earnings report, reflecting investor caution. In contrast, Macy’s shares rallied on better-than-expected profits, demonstrating the varied impacts of earnings season on individual stocks. Lowe’s solid comparable sales also contributed positively, albeit with less market-wide impact.

Palo Alto Networks’ decline due to a downbeat forecast highlighted the sensitivity of tech stocks to future earnings projections. The overall market sentiment was further influenced by movements in the Treasury yields and the crypto market. The decline in 10-year Treasury yields suggested a cautious economic outlook, while the rise in cryptocurrency values pointed to renewed investor interest and optimism regarding regulatory developments for crypto ETFs.

Goldman Sachs' strategists emphasized the potential for heightened market volatility, particularly around significant corporate earnings announcements like Nvidia's. The increased demand for hedging against market declines, as evidenced by CBOE Volatility Index options data, underscores investor concerns about potential market instability despite the historically low levels of the volatility gauge.

Ultimately, the stock market's near-term direction remains contingent on key earnings reports, Federal Reserve policy signals, and broader economic indicators. Investors are navigating a complex landscape where optimism about economic recovery and monetary policy is tempered by caution about potential market volatility and unexpected economic shifts.

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

Subscribe to our newsletter!

As a leading independent research provider, TradeAlgo keeps you connected from anywhere.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related posts.