Stocks Mixed After Record Week

Daily Market Comment

February 23, 2024

The major averages closed a choppy session mixed today as the DJIA and S&P 500 stepped further into record territory, while the NASDAQ again came up short as investors took profits in big cap technology and semiconductor shares. After an opening jump, equities meandered sideways leaving the different sectors mixed. Strength was apparent in Utilities (XLU), Materials (XLB), Industrials (XLI) and Healthcare (XLV), while Energy (XLE), Consumer Discretionary (XLY), Technology (XLK) and Communication Services (XLC) finished the session in the red. Weighing on the energy sector was a $2.00 drop in crude oil prices. Earnings were also mixed with Block (SQ) and Carvana (CAVA) surging after beating estimates, while Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) and Applied Optoelectronics (AAOI) were hammered after disappointing investors. Going into the weekend the DJIA ended with a gain of 62.42 points (+0.16%) and settled at 39131.53, while the S&P 500 tacked on 1.77 point (+0.03%) finishing at 5088.80. The NASDAQ shed 44.80 points (-0.28%) and closed at 15996.82.

Breadth was mostly positive with advancing issues beating declining issues 1.6:1 on the NYSE and 1.2:1 on the NASDAQ. Advancing volume was 57% on the NYSE, but declining volume was 51% of the NASDAQ. The VIX dropped 0.79 (-5.43%) and closed at 13.75. Crude oil prices dropped 2.02 (-2.57%) and the April contract closed at $76.59 a barrel. Gold prices increased 15.60 (+0.76%) and finished at $2046.20 an ounce. Bitcoin (BTC) closed the session at $51,000.

The major averages were able to reverse last week's losses on hotter than expected inflation numbers, but the gains mostly came from Thursday's surge triggered by Nvidia's (NVDA) blowout quarterly earnings. Currently investors have pushed out a rate cut by the Federal Reserve to June, but that will tested by next week's PCE release, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge. If January's uptick proves to be a one-off, we should see the rally continue with the NASDAQ joining the DJIA, S&P 500, NYSE and NASDAQ 100 at new all-time highs.

Earnings releases to watch for on Monday include: Surgery Partners (SGRY), Pilgrim's Pride (PPC), Domino's Pizza (DPZ), Unity Software (U), Zoom Video Communication (ZM) and Workday (WDAY).

Monday's Market Moving Economic Calendar: New Home Sales.

By David L. Blake, CMT

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Market Recap - 02/23/2024

Index Close Day Change Day % Change YTD % Change
NASDAQ COMPOSITE 15996.82 -44.8 -0.28% 6.56%
DJ UTILITIES 849.05 3.14 0.37% -3.7%
DJ TRANSPORT 15921.02 98.65 0.62% 0.14%
DJ INDUSTRIALS 39131.53 62.42 0.16% 3.83%
NYSE COMPOSITE 17616.02 50.95 0.29% 4.53%
S & P 100 INDEX 2413.54 -1.33 -0.06% 7.93%
RUSSELL 2000 2016.69 2.85 0.14% -0.51%
S&P 500 5088.8 1.77 0.03% 6.69%
CBOE MKT VOLATILITY 13.75 -0.79 -5.43% 10.44%
AMEX COMPOSITE 4523.41 4.6 0.1% -1.54%
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