Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer



WEEKLY SUMMARY: The Friday rally didn’t save the week

Despite a rally on Friday, the S&P 500 Index ended the week lower on comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that suggested a pivot to cutting rates might not occur as quickly as the market had hoped. Unease around the U.S. debt ceiling may also have weighed on sentiment, as U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen notified congressional leaders in a letter that the agency might not be able to meet its debt obligations “potentially as early as June 1.” Within the S&P 500, Tech stocks fared the best while Energy shares pulled back in sympathy with the price of WTI crude oil. The regional banks subsector in the S&P 500 experienced significant volatility during the week, reflecting concerns about the potential for additional bank failures. As expected, on May 3, the Fed increased interest rates by 25bps. During the press conference, Fed Chair Powell strongly hinted that the fed funds rate might be near the peak level for this cycle. Nevertheless, Powell also kept the option for further monetary tightening on the table, stating that “a decision to pause was not made today.” The US nonfarm payrolls report showed strength in the labor market, with the economy adding 253k new jobs in April—higher than the consensus estimate of 179k. Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries fell early in the week on concerns about regional banks and the debt ceiling but moderated during Friday’s trading session. European stocks ended the week slightly lower. Gold hit record highs. 


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