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Wall Street: US equity markets leap on Fed rate cut hopes after jobs data surprise


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US stocks surged as weak job growth spurred expectations for Fed rate cuts, despite Warren Buffett's cautionary move on Apple holdings.

 

Written by: Tony Sycamore | Market Analyst, Australia
 
Publication date: 

US equity markets surged higher on Friday night to conclude a volatile week in positive territory, after a weaker-than-expected jobs report led the interest rate market to price in a second 25 basis point (bp) Fed rate cut before year-end. For the week, the Dow Jones gained 1.14%, the Nasdaq added 0.97%, and the S&P 500 gained 0.55%.

April jobs report: unpacking the numbers

Within the details of Friday's jobs report, the US economy added 175,000 jobs in April, a significant reduction from March's 315,000 jobs. The unemployment rate edged higher to 3.9% from 3.8%, while average hourly earnings eased to 3.9% YoY from 4.1%. Encouraged by Fed Chair Powell's comments that unexpected labour market weakness could prompt the central bank to cut rates, a 25 bp rate cut has been brought forward to September, with a second 25 bp rate cut priced for December.

While expectations of additional Fed rate cuts would typically support equity markets, news over the weekend reported that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has reduced its holdings in major companies, raising eyebrows given the Sage of Omaha’s phenomenal track record.

This week's economic calendar is relatively light, with the main highlights being speeches from several Fed officials and the Michigan Consumer Confidence Index. The Q1 2024 Earnings season continues, with companies scheduled to report this week including Palantir Technologies, Walt Disney, Twilio, Lyft, Uber, Airbnb, Robinhood, Roblox, and Dropbox.

What is expected from the Michigan Consumer Confidence Index

Date: 11 May at 12am AEST

Last month the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was revised lower to 77.2 from 79.4 in March, which was the highest level since July 2021. Both current conditions and future expectations declined more than expected, while inflation expectations were revised higher to 3.2% from 3.1%.

This month the market is anticipating a further reduction to 76 as consumers become more cautious about the labour market and persistent inflation.

US Michigan Consumer Sentiment

 

original-size.webpSource: TradingEconomics

S&P 500 technical analysis

There is no change to our view that the rally from April 19 at the 4,953 low is the second wave (Wave B) of a three-wave (ABC) corrective sequence, unfolding from the 5264 March high. Once the current B wave rally is complete, we expect another leg lower (Wave C) towards the 4850/4750 area, where we will look closely for signs of basing to establish long positions.

For this scenario to play out, the current rally (Wave B) should spend minimal time above 5200. Be aware that should the S&P 500 cash trade above 5264, it would indicate the correction likely finished at the April 19 low and the uptrend has resumed.

S&P 500 daily chart

 

original-size.webpSource: TradingView

Nasdaq technical analysis

There is no change to our view that the rally from the April 16,973 low is the second wave (Wave B) of a three-wave (ABC) corrective sequence, unfolding from the 18,464 March high.

Once the current B wave rally is complete, we expect another leg lower (Wave C) towards the 16,500/16,300 area, where we will look closely for signs of basing to establish long positions.

For this scenario to play out, the current rally (Wave B) should spend little time above the resistance (formerly support) at 18,000. Be aware that should the Nasdaq cash trade above 18,464, it would indicate the correction likely finished at the April 19 low and the uptrend has resumed.

Nasdaq daily chart

 

original-size.webpSource: TradingView

  • Source: TradingView. The figures stated are as of 6 May 2024. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This report does not contain and is not to be taken as containing any financial product advice or financial product recommendation.
 

 

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Australia Pty Ltd. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.

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