Stocks Take a Breather as Investors Reevaluate Interest Rate Forecast, Gold Surges to Record Levels, Bitcoin Sees a Rebound: What’s Next?

Greetings, traders! As we head into the Easter weekend, the U.S. stock market maintained its stability, showing some caution in anticipation of potential changes in interest rates.

Yesterday, Fed Governor Christopher J. Waller expressed his reservations about an immediate interest rate cut, emphasizing the ongoing uncertainty surrounding inflation. His viewpoint is widely supported within the Federal Reserve board.

On Thursday, there was a positive adjustment to the U.S. gross domestic product for the fourth quarter, with the economy expanding by 3.4% annually, surpassing the initial estimate of 3.2%.

Market sentiment shifted slightly away from a potential rate cut in June, with the likelihood now at 64%, down from 70% the day before, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones held steady, while the Nasdaq 100 dipped by 0.2%, influenced by lowered expectations of a rate cut and rising commodity prices that impacted tech firms.

Gold hit $2,225 per ounce intraday in New York, reaching record highs, while WTI light crude rose by 1.2% to $82.50 per barrel.

Bitcoin BTC/USD bounced back above $70,700, showcasing resilience amidst shifting stock market sentiment.

As we near the end of March, major U.S. stock indices are on track to mark their fifth consecutive month of gains. Notably, small-cap stocks, as reflected in the iShares Russell 2000 ETF IWM, have outperformed large-cap indices this month.

Highlights from Thursday’s Trading on Major US Indices and ETFs

Major Indices Price 1-day %chg MTD %chg
Russell 2000 2,127.97 0.6% 3.5%
S&P 500 5,255.38 0.0% 2.9%
Dow Jones 39,790.12 0.0% 2.0%
Nasdaq 100 18,261.57 -0.2% 1.2%

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY remained unchanged at $523.34, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average DIA stayed at $397.73, and the tech-heavy Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ decreased by 0.2% to $444.33, according to Ailtra Pro data

In terms of sectors, the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund XLE performed well, rising by 0.9%, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund XLK lagged behind, decreasing by 0.2%.

Noteworthy Stock Movements on Thursday

  • Gold mining stocks surged on Thursday as gold prices reached new highs. Newmont Corp. NEM rose by 2.8%, Barrick Gold Corp. GOLD by 2.2%, and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. AEM by 2.7%.
  • Nikola Corp. NKLA saw a remarkable 11% surge, driven by speculation of a short squeeze circulating within the Reddit community.
  • The Estée Lauder Company EL increased by over 6% following an agreement with Amazon.com Inc. AMZN to distribute the Clinique brand through the e-commerce giant’s platform.
  • RH RH jumped over 17% after reporting strong quarterly results.
  • Among other companies reacting to earnings were Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. WBA, up 2.5%, MSC Industrial Direct Company Inc. MSN, down 2%, REX American Resources Corp. REX, up 30%, and Perspective Therapeutics Inc. CATX, down 1%.
  • Upcoming earnings reports after market close include Semtech Corp. SMTC, Oxford Industries Inc. OXM, and Immunome Inc. IMNM.

Discover more: Insights on Gen Z and Millennials Seeking Family Support for Home Buying: ‘Many Receive Assistance from Parents,’ Redfin Study Reveals

Image credit: Shutterstock.

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