It was another nice week for the global financial markets with higher stock prices and lower bond yields. The Dow Jones Industrials finished above 40,000 for the first time. The TV benchmarks — the Dow, the S&P and the NASDAQ — now all have 5-week winning streaks. Just like the week before, by week’s end all asset classes finished with gains, except for the U.S. dollar. The recent rally has now erased all losses from earlier in the quarter for the major indices. Notably, non-US stocks are leading the way in terms of recent performance. Even China is now outperforming the S&P 500 on the year after rallying over 30% from its low in January.

Inflation data was mixed last week, but good enough for the markets to rally. Investor hopes marginally improved for the Fed to still cut short-term interest rates later this year. Other key events last week included China pledging billions to support its struggling property sector. This has helped propel Chinese stocks even higher. This massive influx of liquidity is typically a good sign for all global equities. Also, meme stock investing is back. In fact, retail traders are back in force with the highest off-exchange volume ever. Even higher than the prior retail peak of January 2021.

As for this week, earnings season is winding down, but we have Nvidia (NVDA) reporting their 1Q earnings on Wednesday. This report has been a market mover of late, particularly given the sustained investor enthusiasm for artificial intelligence. Economic data this week includes some updates on manufacturing and services in addition to consumer sentiment. Minutes from the Fed’s May meeting will also be released Wednesday.

The movement of interest rates remains key. The move lower in longer-term interest rates in recent weeks has been a positive for the stock market. The market view has also been shifting back towards the Fed still cutting rates this year. Should it, though? With inflation being stubbornly higher than the Fed’s target of 2%, the unemployment rate remaining below 4% (and knocking on the door of the longest such readings in nearly 70 years), the stock market at new highs, the stock market close to record high valuations, key commodity markets such as copper surging, and fixed income credit spreads well below average and behaving well, it looks more like the economic liquidity backdrop remains more accommodative than restrictive. In the absence of a market correction or credit spreads expanding, it’s hard to expect the Fed will actually cut rates.

Either way:


Stay invested. Stay diversified. Stay disciplined.


If you have any questions or comments, please let us know at or at Thank you for your time and trust. See you next week!


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Key Data

Stocks, Bonds, Alternatives, & Real Assets as of May 17, 2024

Security Name Risk Score 1 Wk 1 Mo QTD YTD 1 Yr 3 Yr Ann.
Global Equities (60% US, 40% Intl) 100 1.71% 6.35% 1.72% 9.81% 24.06% 6.38%
S&P 500 Total Return 102 1.60% 5.74% 1.12% 11.80% 29.51% 10.12%
Dow Jones Industrial Average 97 1.35% 6.15% -0.72% 6.90% 22.24% 7.41%
NASDAQ 100 Total Return 122 2.16% 6.11% 1.71% 10.58% 37.60% 12.61%
TV Benchmark 107 1.70% 6.00% 1.18% 9.76% 29.78% 10.04%
Morningstar US Large Cap 102 1.75% 5.79% 1.65% 12.91% 32.07% 10.67%
Morningstar US Mid Cap 113 1.24% 5.61% -0.84% 7.96% 23.79% 4.97%
Morningstar US Small Cap 125 1.06% 6.80% -1.56% 4.04% 21.72% 1.17%
Morningstar US Value 98 1.61% 6.17% 0.34% 8.78% 22.54% 7.85%
Morningstar US Growth 126 1.67% 5.66% -0.75% 7.51% 27.69% 4.66%
MSCI ACWI Ex USA  98 1.94% 7.59% 3.20% 8.16% 16.16% 2.38%
MSCI EAFE  101 1.70% 7.28% 2.34% 8.40% 16.28% 4.57%
MSCI EM 98 2.72% 8.95% 5.85% 8.43% 16.26% -2.80%
Bloomberg US Agg Bond Index 27 0.57% 1.58% -0.63% -1.40% 1.38% -2.87%
Bloomberg Commodity Index 70 2.98% 3.90% 7.07% 9.42% 10.03% 7.56%
Wilshire Liquid Alternative Index 25 0.52% 1.77% 0.50% 3.68% 8.47% 1.44%
US Dollar 10 -0.73% -1.69% -0.08% 3.09% 1.85% 4.97%
Bloomberg US Treasury Bill 1-3mo 1 0.10% 0.47% 0.72% 2.05% 5.51% 2.90%
Source: Morningstar

The TV Benchmark represents an average of the S&P 500, Dow Jones IA, and NASDAQ 100 return indexes. The Orion Risk Score represents risk relative to the global equity market.



Interest Rates as of May 17, 2024

Rate This Week 1 Wk Δ%
13-Wk Treasury Yield 5.24% 0.00%
10-Yr Treasury Yield 4.42% -0.08%
Bloomberg US Agg Yield 5.13% -0.06%
Avg Money Mkt Yield 5.12% -0.01%
Avg 30-Yr Mortgage Rate 7.21% -0.14%
Sources: Yahoo Finance, S&P Global, Crane Data, BankRate



Key Economic Data Last Week

Data Point Expectation Actual
Producer Price Index (PPI) -- 2.2%
Core PPI -- 3.1%
Consumer Price Index 3.4% 3.4%
Core CPI/td> 3.6% 3.6%
US Retail Sales 0.4% 0.0%
Housing Starts 1.41M 1.36M
Industrial Production 0.1% 0.0%
US Leading Economic Indicators -0.3% -0.6%
Sources: MarketWatch, First Trust



Key Economic Data This Week

Data Point Expectation Release Date
Existing Home Sales 4.21M 5/22/24
New Home Sales 675,000 5/23/24
Durable Goods Orders -0.5% 5/24/24
Source: MarketWatch


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