Major U.S. equity indices finished the first full week of June in a mostly-positive fashion, with the Dow and S&P 500 posting small weekly gains in notably quiet trade.
S&P 500 Nears Bull Market Territory
It seems like just the other day that we were talking about the S&P 500 entering bear market territory. Yet, here we are some 248 or so trading days later, with things looking quite different.
The recent trading action across major U.S. stock indexes can be characterized as “climbing a wall of worry.” Broad stock indexes have inched up like a snail in mostly quiet trade over the last few months–even as debt ceiling fears were in focus.
Traders trying to short this market and anxious investors selling their positions based on headlines and fear have had their hats handed to them.
It is good to be a long-term investor!
For the technical folks, entering a bull market can be defined as a 20% rise from the low daily closing point: 3577.03 on October 12th, 2022, in the S&P 500.
The S&P 500 closed at 4294 last Thursday and closed the week on Friday at 4298.87. These preliminary technical bull market levels will be put to the test this week via the June Federal Reserve meeting.
Weekly Jobless Claims Rise
In an otherwise quiet week for economic data, last week showed jobless claims rising to their highest since October 2021. Data showed:
With the June Federal Reserve meeting coming this week, this indication of potential softening within the labor market could influence the Fed’s interest rate decision.
The Labor Department did not cite any specific factor for the increase.
Treasury Yields Quiet
10-year note yields rose slightly last week ahead of this week’s Fed meeting, settling near 3.746%, up slightly from the previous weekly close near 3.690%.
The slight increase in 10-year note yield was partially due to a rise last Friday, courtesy of jobless claims data, which came in higher than expected.
June Fed Meeting in Focus
So, what about the future of interest rates and inflation? We will find out on June 14th at 2:00 p.m., when the Fed releases its interest rate decision and accompanying policy statement.
As of last week’s market close, markets were favoring a 70.1% chance of no rate hike, versus a 29.9% chance of a 0.25% rate hike, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
Investors will be paying close attention to how high the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) sees interest rates rising in 2023, along with any shift in perspective from committee members regarding future pivots to rate cuts.
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