Web Stories Sunday, March 3

U.S. stock futures traded near the flatline Sunday night after the three major averages notched their seventh straight week of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded a new intraday record, and the Nasdaq 100 had a new closing high. 

Futures tied to the Dow industrials added 31 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 futures also inched up 0.1%, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose by just 0.01%.

The winning streak for the S&P 500 marked its longest string of weekly gains since 2017. The broad market index is up by 3.3% for the month, while the Dow and Nasdaq are 3.8% and 4.1% higher, respectively. 

Investor sentiment took a positive turn last week after the Federal Reserve indicated three short-term interest rate cuts are expected in 2024 amid cooling inflation. 

“Slowing inflation, low growth expectations, and intact growth momentum is a great combination from a market perspective. We’ve argued time and again that this is a backdrop that is as Goldilocks as it gets,” HSBC chief multi-asset strategist Max Kettner wrote in a Friday note. 

Kettner noted, however, that near-term growth and earnings expectations in the U.S. remain weak. The current winning streak seems similar to the 2017-2018 market rally, he added, where broadly bullish sentiment gave way to disappointment in January “by the blow-up in implied equity market volatility.”

“So, for the first time in H2, we are starting to be wary of the positive momentum. It may be prudent to start 2024 on a more cautious note,” Kettner said. 

On the economic front, investors will be looking toward December’s business leaders survey and housing market index results. Monday marks the start of the final full trading week of 2023.

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