Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer



WEEKLY SUMMARY: Inflation worries abate as debt-ceiling concerns lurk

The major US equity indexes ended mixed for the week as Q1 earnings season neared its end. The Nasdaq outperformed, helped by a surge in Alphabet following the unveiling of its new AI-based search platform. The Dow Jones lagged, weighed down by Disney. Financials stocks underperformed, dragged lower by ongoing concerns over the strains facing certain regional banks. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 jumped after the Labor Department reported that headline consumer prices had risen 4.9% over the year ended in April, a tick below consensus expectations and the slowest pace in two years. Supercore inflation fell to its lowest level since early in the pandemic. Along with banking stresses and tightening credit conditions, another factor weighing on sentiment seemed to be the upcoming deadline to increase the debt ceiling before the U.S. Treasury Department has exhausted its “extraordinary measures” to pay the government’s obligations. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the deadline could come as early as June 1. News on Friday of a jump in consumers’ inflation expectations seemed to drive stocks lower and bond yields higher, reversing a decline through much of the week. The STOXX Europe 600 Index ended roughly flat. The Bank of England (BoE) raised its key interest rate by 25bps to 4.25%. Signs of strength in corporate earnings supported Japan’s stock markets over the week, with the Nikkei 225 Index rising 0.8%. The dollar soared while bitcoin moved back to $26k. 


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