The "3 Witches" session, which began on Friday morning under the best of auspices (the pre-opening gain on the February maturity exceeded 4%, and everything pointed to a final bouquet in the form of new all-time highs), turned out to be disappointing.

No 16th week of gains for Wall Street, and yet the S&P500 and Dow Jones remained in a position to pull off the feat until around 8.15pm (the closing levels of Friday February 9 having been exceeded), which validated the pre-opening gains and foreshadowed a record close.

The S&P500 also equalled its pre-opening all-time high, rising to 5,045 around midday. In the end, it dropped 0.48% to just over 5,005 (or -0.42% weekly) and the Dow Jones lost 0.37% to 38,628.

The Nasdaq-100 had started the day badly and ended it even worse with -0.9% to 17,686 (or -1.5% weekly, having peaked at around 17.950 also around midday), in the wake of Micron -2.6%, Meta -2.2%, Qualcomm -2%, Alphabet -1.6%, Cisco -1.3% and despite a few survivors such as Applied Materials +6.4%.

In addition to the heaviness of the "techno" stocks, the S&P500 suffered from the downturn in homebuilders such as DR Horton -2.8%... due to the deterioration in rates, with a "10-year" posting +5 basis points towards 4.284%.

This tension was blamed on the 'PPI': producer prices in the US rose by 0.9% year-on-year in January, whereas they were expected to have risen by 0.6%.

As was the case on Tuesday with the CPI (consumer prices), the consensus was disappointed: all the more so as the PPI is a component of the PCE index (the measure of inflation most closely followed by the Fed).

Disappointing results for US housing permits, down by 1.5% to 1,470,000 annualized.470,000 on an annualized basis in January, and even more so for housing starts, which fell by 14.8% to 1,331,000, figures penalized by the high level of interest rates.

On the other hand, US consumer confidence improved slightly this month, according to the index calculated by the University of Michigan, which came in at 79.6 in a preliminary estimate, compared with 79 for the previous month.

Copyright (c) 2024 All rights reserved.