Consumers are Getting Weaker, and that May Be a Good Thing

May 21, 2024

Recap: Markets Reach New Highs

Equity investors had much to celebrate this week as major market indices soared to new records.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) surpassed the 40,000 point mark for the first time in history, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ also achieved new highs.

This marked the fifth straight week of gains for the DJIA and the fourth consecutive weekly advance for both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ.

Inflation dominated the headlines, with Tuesday’s Producer Price Index (PPI) release initially sparking concerns on Wall Street due to hotter-than-anticipated numbers. However, the following day brought a collective sigh of relief as the Labor Department’s April Consumer Price Index (CPI) data largely aligned with expectations.

Thursday saw Wall Street analysts poring over Retail Sales figures, finding cause for optimism in the Commerce Department’s report of flat sales in April, which fell short of higher projections.

The data also revealed a pullback in consumer discretionary spending, evidenced by a 1.2% decline in sales at non-store (primarily online) retailers and a continued slowdown in restaurant and bar sales.


Weekly Chart Review


What’s Going On In Your Portfolio?

As I mentioned in this week’s market update video, equites look like they may rise well into the summer months.

Our client portfolios are fully invested with an emphisis on the areas showing the strongest momentum and relative strength.

Historically, during election years the S&P 500 tends to rise during the Summer months. Barring any surprises from the Fed and/or inflation data, I am expecting this year to be no different.


Upcoming Economic Data to Keep an Eye On

Source: Trading Economics


By John Rothe, CMT

Founder & Chief Investment Officer

Riverbend Investment Management

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