A Big Week for Clarity

A Big Week for Clarity

Last week saw U.S. equities continue their rally for a third-straight week, sailing in what were mostly uneventful waters. Earnings season is slowing down, and most are preparing for the CPI print this week. In alternatives, oil was relatively flat, while gold appreciated, and bitcoin lagged. Coming off weak payroll and wage growth numbers, last week also saw a disappointing consumer credit print. Although consumer spending has held strong, with both credit and wages slow while inflation remains, we fear consumers may cut back on spending.

Weekly Performance

Data Source: Factset®        Performance Period:      5/6/2024    5/10/2024

The light economic data began with Consumer Credit1 on Tuesday coming in at $6.3 Billion, far below the expectation of $15.0 Billion. Initial1 and continuing1 jobless claims were released on Thursday, with continuing claims flat week over week and initial claims jumping to 231k from 209k the week prior. The week ended with Michigan consumer sentiment1 dipping to 67.4 in May, from 77.2 in April (lower values indicate less positive consumer outlooks on the economy).

In the week ahead, we have a strong slate of economic data. Wednesday’s CPI should be the most anticipated economic print, as progress on inflation continues to drive Fed policy. Also to watch this week is PPI leading, which will likely set the inflationary mood. Wednesday will see CPI joined by retail sales, which could give an indication as to the inertia behind consumer spending. Thursday has Export/Import prices and Housing Starts/Completions, both of which can help cast a light on economic supply.

We expect the week ahead to more than make up for the calm waters last week. As markets look for direction on FOMC policy and the strength of the economy, we urge diligence, so the market’s potential overreaction isn’t mistaken for direction. Clarity in the morass of the markets is tough, but clarity when planning the impact of your legacy as a faithful steward is much easier to attain with a trusted advisor.  Of course, ultimate clarity is explained in John 16:13: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

  1. Seasonally Adjusted
  2. Not Seasonally Adjusted

Sources: Yahoo Finance,, and JP Morgan Market Insights

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