No 20th week of gains for Wall Street, which dropped a further -0.5% (S&P500) to -1.15% (Nasdaq-100).

The initial heaviness continued as the hours went by, without really gaining momentum: however, it would have only taken "a little" for the weekly results to turn positive again, with the Dow Jones ending at -0.02% and the S&P at -0.13%.... however, the Nasdaq composite was a little short of the mark, dropping -0.7%.

The "techno" index suffered from Adobe's plunge of 13.7%, and declines by Intuit (-3.8%), MongoDb (-3.7%), On Semiconductors (-3%), Cadence (-2.6%), NXP (-2.5%), Charter Com, Broadcom and Microsoft (-2.1%), Cisco (-1.7%), Alphabet (-1.5%) and Meta (-1.6%).
Not all 'SOXX' components (-0.7%) ended in the red: AMD and Micron gained +2.1%, Nvidia resisted (-0.1%) and posted +77.5% in 2024.

Reassuring figures might have been in order, but those published this Friday will not dispel the unease surrounding recent inflation data.

US import prices rose by 0.3% in February compared with the previous month (+0.2% excluding petroleum products), while export prices rose by 0.8%, both gross and excluding foodstuffs.

The 12-month picture is more encouraging: import and export prices fell by 0.8% (-0.5% excluding petroleum products) and 1.8% respectively last month (-1% excluding foodstuffs).

The day's most eagerly awaited figure had no impact: US consumer confidence remained broadly stable in March, according to the index calculated by the University of Michigan, which came in at 76.5 in preliminary estimate, versus 76.9 the previous month.

However, the index is 23.4% higher than in March 2023, and consumers are still very much alive, as demonstrated by Thursday's solid retail sales figures, accompanied by the strongest annualized rise in producer prices since September.

Of note - albeit an "inconclusive" figure - was a sharp contraction in manufacturing activity in New York State in March, according to the local Fed's Empire State index of general conditions: the index plunged 19 points on the previous month to stand at -20.9.

Bond markets are coming off the low point of a "complicated" week: yields have eased sharply since Tuesday, and T-Bonds are down a further +2pts at 4.31%.

Bitcoin took a big hit at around 2.30 a.m., tumbling 72.000 down to $65,700 (the floor tested around 10.00 this morning) before bouncing back to $68,300... making it just about stable over the past week.

Copyright (c) 2024 All rights reserved.