Stock market dips slightly amid AI boom and tech gains, while investors eye economic updates

March 5, 2024

On Monday, the stock market experienced a modest downturn, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite retracting from their peak levels despite the surge in technology stocks, fueled by the artificial intelligence boom. The S&P 500 slightly declined by 0.12%, and the Nasdaq fell by 0.41%, even as Nvidia and Super Micro Computer witnessed notable gains. The broader market’s sentiment was tempered by losses in key sectors and major tech companies like Apple and Tesla. Meanwhile, the currency market showed limited volatility as investors awaited significant U.S. economic updates, including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony and non-farm payroll data. The anticipation of these events, coupled with mixed outcomes in the stock and currency markets, underscores the cautious approach of investors amidst the ongoing enthusiasm for AI and technology advancements.

Stock Market Updates

On Monday, the stock market experienced a slight retreat, with both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite stepping down from their all-time highs, despite significant gains in technology stocks spurred by the artificial intelligence boom. The S&P 500 fell by 0.12% to 5,130.95, the Nasdaq Composite dropped by 0.41% to 16,207.51, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased by 97.55 points, or 0.25%, ending at 38,989.83. This pullback brought the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq back from their recent record highs. Noteworthy performances included Nvidia, which surged by more than 3%, and Super Micro Computer, which soared by 18% following the announcement of its upcoming inclusion in the S&P 500. Additionally, bitcoin-related stocks like Microstrategy and Coinbase saw significant gains as the cryptocurrency approached its 2021 peak, indicating a broader appetite for risk among investors.

Despite the excitement around artificial intelligence and select stock advancements, the market was dragged down by underperforming sectors and notable tech companies. The communication services sector led the S&P 500 lower, with Apple dropping 2.5% after a hefty EU antitrust fine and Tesla declining over 7% after announcing new price discounts. Outside of tech, companies like Ford and Macy’s enjoyed gains due to positive sales data and increased acquisition offers, respectively. However, the airline sector showed mixed results, with JetBlue rising over 4% and Spirit Airlines falling more than 10% after canceling their merger plans. As the market digests these movements amid ongoing AI-driven enthusiasm, investors are keenly awaiting insights from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s upcoming monetary policy updates, along with key employment and manufacturing data set to be released throughout the week.

Data by Bloomberg

On Monday, the stock market saw a mixed performance across various sectors, with a slight overall decline of 0.12%. Utilities (+1.65%), Real Estate (+1.07%), and Materials (+0.70%) sectors led the gains, showcasing a stronger performance, while Industrials, Financials, Information Technology, and Consumer Staples also posted modest increases. On the downside, Health Care, Energy, Consumer Discretionary, and Communication Services experienced declines, with Communication Services facing the steepest drop of -1.52%. The energy sector also saw a notable decrease of -1.08% and Consumer Discretionary wasn’t far behind with a decline of -1.27%. This varied performance highlights the differing investor sentiments and economic factors influencing each sector.

Currency Market Updates

In the currency market, the USD index displayed minimal volatility, oscillating between 103.72 and 103.96, as market participants braced for a series of pivotal U.S. economic updates. These include the eagerly anticipated non-farm payrolls data and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony to Congress. Comments from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic highlighted a cautious stance on inflation, suggesting the Fed has the luxury of time to ensure inflation targets are met, while also pointing out the potential inflationary pressures from “pent-up exuberance” within the economy. Furthermore, expectations for Federal Reserve rate adjustments, as inferred from SOFR futures, signal a consensus towards a subdued outlook on rate cuts, anticipated to commence in June, with a projection of nearly -80 basis points through the end of 2024.

In currency pair movements, the EUR/USD saw a modest uptick, gaining 0.17% to reach 1.0860, with market sentiment slightly skewed towards potential gains in anticipation of forthcoming U.S. economic data and Powell’s remarks. Meanwhile, the USD/JPY pair experienced a 0.24% rise to 150.50, amidst expectations of diverging monetary policies between the Fed and the Bank of Japan. The GBP/USD pair also recorded gains, increasing by 0.36% to 1.2698, as traders speculated on the Bank of England maintaining a marginally higher interest rate regime compared to the Fed, amid persistent above-target inflation in the UK. In contrast, Bitcoin and gold witnessed significant appreciation, with Bitcoin surging to a new yearly high of $67.6k, driven by ETF-related buying, and gold advancing by 1.6% to $2,117, both reflecting broader market dynamics and investor sentiment.

Picks of the Day Analysis
EUR/USD (4 Hours)

EUR/USD Reaches Two-Week High Amid Dovish Fed Signals and ECB Easing Prospects

The EUR/USD pair witnessed a notable uptrend, reaching new two-week highs in the 1.0865–1.0870 range, buoyed by the ongoing weakness of the US dollar as the USD Index dipped below the 104.00 mark, despite positive shifts in US yields. This movement was supported by risk-on market sentiment and anticipations of a Federal Reserve easing cycle starting in June, reinforced by comments from Fed officials suggesting a possible reduction in policy rates over the summer. Contrasting views among Fed policymakers highlighted a debate on the timing and conditions for rate cuts. Concurrently, the European Central Bank (ECB) signaled a potential start for its easing cycle in the summer, with inflation data supporting such a move. This comes as 10-year bund yields in Europe showed a declining trend, indicating a complex interplay of expectations and market reactions affecting the EUR/USD dynamics.

Chart EUR/USD by TradingView

On Monday, the EUR/USD moved higher and was able to reach the upper band of the Bollinger Bands. Currently, the price is moving below the upper band, suggesting a potential downward movement to reach the middle band. Notably, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) maintains its position at 56, signaling a neutral outlook for this currency pair.

Resistance: 1.0858, 1.0888

Support: 1.0838, 1.0812

XAU/USD (4 Hours)

XAU/USD Surges Past $2,100 Amid Economic Indicators and Federal Reserve Speculations

Spot Gold exceeded the $2,100 threshold on Monday, continuing its upward trajectory from Friday, albeit at a diminished pace, with a notable $55.00 increase on the last trading day of the prior week, marking its most significant daily gain since December. The ascent began on Thursday following the release of US inflation data, which aligned with expectations and showed a slower annual increase in the Fed’s preferred inflation metric, the January Core PCE Price Index, since March 2021. This was seen as a relief after earlier CPI figures had heightened inflationary pressure concerns. The momentum was sustained into Friday, driven by disappointing US ISM Manufacturing PMI data and a decline in Treasury yields, which pressured the US Dollar further. Despite a minor recovery in yields at the start of the new week, gold’s trajectory remained unaffected, with market participants eyeing the Federal Reserve’s next meeting for potential rate cut signals, not anticipated before June.

Chart XAU/USD by TradingView

On Monday, XAU/USD moved higher to reach the upper band of the Bollinger Bands. Currently, the price is moving just below the upper band, suggesting a potential higher movement to reach above the upper band and reach the resistance level. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) stands at 80, signaling a strong bullish outlook for this pair.

Resistance: $2,120, $2,147

Support: $2,100, $2,079

Economic Data
CurrencyDataTime (GMT + 8)Forecast
USDISM Services PMI23:0053.0