Weekly Market Analysis: Central Bank Decisions, Jobs Report Awaited Amid Record Stock Market Momentum

March 4, 2024

Economic news: No notable economic releases.

Earnings: Gitlab (GTLB), Stitch Fix (SFIX), ThredUp (TDUP)


Gold Breakout and Market Volatility Ahead: With central bank decisions and the U.S. jobs report on the horizon, this week is poised for potential market shifts.

Tuesday’s Focus on U.S. Services: The ISM Services PMI for February is expected to show a slight decline to 53.0. Any significant variance could influence the U.S. dollar by affecting FOMC rate expectations.

Central Bank Decisions on Wednesday:

  • The Bank of Canada is likely to maintain its current interest rate, with attention on any hints regarding future rate policies.
  • Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to Congress will provide insights into the Fed’s monetary policy outlook, particularly regarding rate cuts.

ECB Decision and Powell’s Testimony on Thursday:

  • No rate changes expected from the ECB, but a dovish stance could pressure the euro.
  • Powell’s second testimony to the Senate, following Wednesday’s address, may not offer new insights.

U.S. Jobs Report on Friday: The nonfarm payrolls report is anticipated to show 200K jobs added in February. Strong job growth could delay the Fed’s rate cuts, affecting the U.S. dollar and gold prices, whereas weak growth could prompt a dovish Fed outlook, potentially boosting gold.


Stock Market Records: The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended the week at all-time highs, with the S&P 500 marking a significant rising streak for the first time since 1971, as noted by Deutsche Bank.

Key Events Ahead: The stock market’s rally faces tests with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s Capitol Hill testimony and the February jobs report. Additional focus will be on services sector activity and job openings updates.

Earnings Reports: With most S&P 500 companies having reported, notable earnings from Target, Costco, and Kroger are anticipated in the coming week.

Federal Reserve Update: Jerome Powell is scheduled for his semi-annual monetary policy testimony, which will be closely watched for insights on the US economy, inflation, and interest rate cut expectations. Markets anticipate three rate cuts starting in June.

Labor Market Outlook: The February jobs report, highlighting nonfarm payroll additions and the unemployment rate, will be critical. A strong labor market is essential for smooth policy shifts and avoiding a recession.

Earnings Season Wrap-up: The S&P 500 shows a 4% earnings growth in the fourth quarter, indicating the second consecutive quarter of growth. Analysts have made smaller-than-average downward revisions for the current quarter’s earnings estimates.

Market Momentum: Despite expectations of a volatile start to 2024, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq saw their best February since 2015. Historical trends suggest continued positive momentum for the stock market through the year.

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