Memes, Markets, and Memorial Day

Memes, Markets, and Memorial Day

Last week saw green tickers from equities to bonds, with bitcoin and silver the standout performers up 10.5% and 11.7%, respectively. There was also a revived focus on meme stocks, with the return of Roaring Kitty (Keith Gill) to social media after a three-year break. Overall, last week was busy with macro-economic news pulling markets and resetting some expectations.

Weekly Performance

Data Source: Factset®        Performance Period:      5/13/2024    5/17/2024

The economic data started off with PPI data on Tuesday coming in hotter than expected. Core PPI1 rose 0.5% in April against expectations of a 0.2% rise, while headline PPI1 rose 0.5% in April against expectations of a 0.3% rise. With hotter-than-expected PPI, the sentiment going into Wednesday’s CPI print was more of the same, but markets were delighted by an April core CPI1 print coming in at expectations of 0.3% and headline CPI1 coming in under expectations at 0.3%. Retail sales1 also reported on Wednesday and came in below expectations—flat month over month instead of an expected 0.4% gain. Thursday brought a slate of housing data, with Housing starts2 up in April but below expectations at 1,360k, while housing completions2 fell to 1,623k. In employment, initial jobless claims rose to 222k and continuing claims rose to 1,794k.

In the week ahead, Wednesday will bring the release of FOMC minutes, giving deeper insight into the thoughts and expectations of the Fed, as well as some direction on interest rates. As CPI cooled a bit last week, we expect many eyes to be looking beyond Memorial Day weekend to May 31’s PCE data (the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index is the Fed’s preferred metric for inflation). A PCE showing weakening inflation will be telling for policy direction.

In political news, several emerging stories had the potential to impact markets. Last week saw the attempted assassination of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico by an attacker who was quickly detained. The prime minister remains in critical condition. In Iran, a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed this weekend near the village of Tavil, killing Raisi. We believe this emerging situation is one to closely watch in the week ahead, as it could shape the conflict in Gaza and market risk of contagion in the Middle East.

Memorial Day Weekend is just days away, and the week after will be an abbreviated trading week, as markets are closed Monday, May 27th. We hope you take time to remember those who gave their lives defending our country. As spring turns to summer and many also take the opportunity to enjoy warm weather, friends, family, and the outdoors, we are reminded that these good things are from Him. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17

1. Seasonally Adjusted, month over month
2. Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate

Sources: Yahoo Finance,, and JP Morgan Market Insights

 Sources: Yahoo Finance,, and JP Morgan Market Insights. Securities offered through American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. of Holbrook, New York, 631.439.4600,(APFS), member FINRASIPC.  Faithward Advisors is not owned or operated by APFS. Faithward Advisors offers Investment Advisory services through Ambassador Advisors, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Dream More, Plan More, Do More is a registered trademark of Faithward Advisors, LLC, Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Any opinions expressed in this forum are not the opinion or view of Faithward Advisors or American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS). They have not been reviewed by either firm for completeness or accuracy. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments. Readers should conduct their own review and exercise judgment prior to investing. Investments are not guaranteed, involve risk and may result in a loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investments are not suitable for all types of investors.