Notes Along the Path: Market Update for week 25

Gordon Achtermann |

Market Recap


The S&P 500 index rose 0.6% in the shortened week, extending its latest winning streak to a third week and sending the market benchmark to a round of fresh highs.

The S&P 500 ended Friday's session at 5,464.62.

The week's gain came in just four sessions as the US stock market was closed on Wednesday for Juneteeth. Prior to that one-day closure, the index hit a new record close on Tuesday at 5,487.03. It also reached a fresh intraday high on Thursday at 5,505.53.

Home prices have also been hitting fresh records; data on Friday showed the median existing-home price increased to an all-time high of $419,300 in May from $406,600 in April; this reflects a gain of 5.8% from one year earlier.

The pace of US existing home sales fell by 0.7% to a 4.11 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in May, but this represented a smaller-than-expected decline as the rate had been forecast at 4.1 million, according to a survey compiled by Bloomberg.

The consumer discretionary sector led this week's climb, rising 2.5%, followed by a 1.9% rise in energy, a 1.7% increase in financials and a 1.5% rise in industrials. Other gainers included consumer staples, communication services, materials and health care.

Caesars Entertainment (CZR) had the largest percentage increase in the consumer discretionary sector, climbing 8.7% on the week as the casino operator completed its acquisition of WynnBET's Michigan iGaming operations from Wynn Resorts (WYNN). Caesars also said it is awaiting regulatory approvals for a new online casino brand and the transition of the WynnBET iCasino operations to Caesars' Michigan iGaming Platform later this year.

The advance in energy coincided with a rise in crude-oil futures. Gainers included shares of Schlumberger (SLB), which rose 6.2%, and Baker Hughes (BKR), which climbed 5.9%.

Three sectors still fell this week: utilities shed 0.8%, followed by a 0.7% decline in technology and a 0.3% drop in real estate.

The utilities sector's decliners included shares of PG&E Corp. (PCG), which fell 3.2% as analysts at Morgan Stanley and Barclays slightly lowered their price targets on the stock this week.


Bond Market

The Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index (the best measure of the US bond market as a whole) has been essentially flat so far this year. From Feb. 1 to April 24, the index fell (reflecting rising interest rates) but has rebounded almost all the way back since then. As prospects for future rate cuts have improved. 






Recall that we are still in a bear market for bonds, which have not recovered from the fall that started when the Fed began the steepest interest rate rise in US history to combat inflation.






Up Next

Next week, the stock market will close out the first half of 2024 with data on May new home sales, the second revision to Q1 gross domestic product, and the May personal consumption expenditures index, among other economic reports.


Stay the course!


All the Best,

Gordon Achtermann, CFP®