Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer



WEEKLY SUMMARY: S&P 500 hits highest level since mid-August 2022

The major US equity indices recorded solid gains for the week, with the S&P 500 Index touching its highest intraday level since mid-August 2022. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index notched its sixth consecutive weekly gain and hit its best level since mid-April 2022. In contrast with the past several weeks, however, the rally was broad-based, with strong gains in both value and growth stocks, as well as small-caps. Risk assets benefited from 4 tailwinds: 1) News that the White House and Republican congressional leaders had reached an agreement to raise the federal debt limit and stave off a default on governmental obligations; 2) US banks recorded strong deposit inflows; 3) Friday’s US nonfarm payrolls: while the report surprised on the upside, the details seemed to suggest that the labor market might be cooling; 4) On Thursday, the ISM’s prices paid for supplies and other inputs by manufacturers contracted at the fastest pace since December. The encouraging inflation signals appeared to drive a decrease in longer-term U.S. Treasury yields, while the finalization of a debt ceiling agreement led to a plunge in the yield on 1-month Treasury bills, from 6.02% the previous Friday to 5.28% at the end of the week. In Europe, the  STOXX Europe 600 Index was little changed as data showed that eurozone inflation had slowed. Amid continued strong foreign investor interest, Japanese equities rose over the week, with the Nikkei 225 rising 1.97%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose 1.1% after hitting a six-month low earlier in the week. 


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