World Markets Watchlist: February 20, 2024
Five of the eight indexes on our world watch list have posted gains through February 20, 2024. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 finished in the top spot with a YTD gain of 14.64%. The U.S.'s S&P 500 finished in second with a YTD gain of 4.91% while France's CAC 40 finished in third with a YTD gain of 3.51%.
Gasoline Prices Rise for 3rd Straight Week
Gas prices are up for a third straight week for the first time since August. As of February 12th, the prices of regular and premium gas increased 6 cents and 5 cents from the previous week, respectively. The WTIC end-of-day spot price for crude oil closed at $76.92, up 5.7% from last week.
CB Leading Economic Index: No Longer Forecasting Recession
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) fell for a 22nd consecutive month in January as the LEI continues to signal headwinds to economic activity in the U.S. However, for the first time in the past two years, the index is no longer forecasting a recession in 2024. The index dropped 0.4% from last month to 102.7, the index's lowest reading since May 2020.
Goldman Lifts S&P 500 Target With Profit Optimism to Drive Rally
Just months after setting a 2024 target for the S&P 500 Index, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. strategists have boosted their forecast for a second time, reflecting Wall Street’s optimistic outlook for earnings.
Markets Start to Speculate If the Next Fed Move Is Up, Not Down
Investors are beginning to war-game how the Federal Reserve can manage a US economy that just won’t land, with some even debating whether interest-rate hikes will be needed only weeks after a steady run of reductions appeared all but certain.
Nvidia ETF Proxy Has AI Inroads
Investors looking for a “story stock” need not look much further than semiconductor giant Nvidia (NVDA). Proving that lofty valuations aren’t detriments to the upside, the stock is higher by 46.72% year-to-date. Additionally, it is now the third-largest U.S.-based company by market capitalization.
Emerging Economies Drive Growth in Global Shipping and Trade
Approximately 80% of all S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter earnings as of today, and of those, 75% have reported earnings per share (EPS) above estimates. That’s well above the 10-year average, according to FactSet.