Weekly Market Wrap: Strong Q1 Earnings, But Persistent Inflation
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Market Recap & Upcoming Week
Last week, the Big Tech stocks, represented by the TAMAMA acronym, continued their strong performance with impressive year-to-date returns, underpinned by resilient results and a strategy of continual expansion and diversification.
On the other hand, there was a surprising underperformance of China’s stock market despite the nation’s strong economic rebound. The MSCI China index lagged behind the S&P 500, with an average profit growth of only 1% for listed Chinese companies. Concerns arose over the sustainability of the current consumption bounce and a weak job market for younger workers in the country.
Meanwhile, global inflation concerns persisted, with slow signs of cooling. The Federal Reserve held back on raising interest rates, due to banking system stresses and uncertainties around the debt ceiling. However, the markets noted some positive signs, including a slowdown in supercore inflation and a reversal in durable goods prices, primarily driven by a spike in used vehicle prices.
The challenge remains to navigate a path back to a situation where the Effective Federal Funds Rate exceeds inflation, with Wall Street calling for rate cuts to counteract the perceived dissonance between short-term rates and lower long-term Treasury yields.
As we move into the next week, the spotlight will fall on the last significant wave of this earnings season. Reports from retail giants like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Alibaba will provide insights into the consumer sector, potentially setting the tone for market sentiment.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s report on April retail sales, due on Tuesday, will offer critical information on the health of consumer spending, which has been a significant driver of economic recovery. Simultaneously, the housing market will be under scrutiny as data on building permits, housing starts, existing home sales, and the NAHB’s Housing Market Index for May is released.
On a global scale, economic indicators from Japan and the eurozone will attract attention with new GDP readings expected.
An inflation reading from Canada could give insights into the country’s economic health amid global inflation concerns.
A key event to watch will be the Group of Seven (G7) summit, commencing on Friday in Hiroshima, Japan. As the world leaders gather to discuss and form policy on pressing global issues, their decisions may have significant implications for global markets and international relations. Therefore, investors and observers should keep a keen eye on the outcomes of this summit.
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