The Markets (as of market close May 12, 2023)
Stocks trended lower last week, with only the Nasdaq able to eke out a gain. Investors remained pensive as they await negotiations on the debt ceiling. With roughly 92% of the S&P 500 companies having reported first-quarter earnings thus far, results appear headed down 2.5% from last year. This follows a 4.6% drop in fourth-quarter earnings. Despite the downturn, FactSet reported that 78% of the companies have reported earnings that beat expectations, which is the most since the third quarter of 2021. So far in 2023, only the Russell 2000 has yet to reach its 2022 closing value. The remaining major benchmark indexes remain ahead of where they began this year, despite lackluster results through the first two weeks of May. Crude oil prices declined for the fourth consecutive week on concerns of weakening demand. Gold prices slipped lower but remained over $2,000.00 per ounce.
Eye on the Week Ahead
Following the latest report on retail sales released early this week, the focus shifts to the housing sector. The April data on housing permits, starts, and completions is available this week. In March, the number of building permits issued, housing starts, and housing completions slid lower from the previous month. Existing home sales fell 2.4% in March but look to bounce back in April as inventory of homes available for sale increased and mortgage rates have stabilized somewhat.
Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI, Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e., wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Forecasts are based on current conditions, subject to change, and may not come to pass. U.S. Treasury securities are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. The principal value of Treasury securities and other bonds fluctuates with market conditions. Bonds are subject to inflation, interest-rate, and credit risks. As interest rates rise, bond prices typically fall. A bond sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 largest, publicly traded companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. The U.S. Dollar Index is a geometrically weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to six foreign currencies. Market indexes listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.