U.S. Stocks Waver Near Record Highs Amid Rate Cut Bets and Market Cautions By Quiver Quantitative


© Reuters. U.S. Stocks Waver Near Record Highs Amid Rate Cut Bets and Market Cautions

Quiver Quantitative – The U.S. stock market exhibited a cautious stance as it hovered near all-time highs, reflecting a blend of optimism and apprehension among investors. The S&P 500’s proximity to its record level stirred a debate about the market’s next direction amid expectations of Federal Reserve rate cuts in 2024. The S&P 500 Index (SPY), which traded just 0.5% shy of its peak, was influenced by traders betting on rate cuts as early as March 2024, a sentiment bolstered by the Fed’s recent dovish shift in its rate projections.

However, concerns about an overbought market and skepticism about the Fed’s easing pace tempered the rally. Experts like Tom Essaye and Jose Torres pointed out the market’s complacency and the likelihood of delayed rate cuts. Ed Clissold of Ned Davis Research highlighted the historical performance of the S&P 500 after reaching new highs, noting a pattern of sustained gains despite short-term overbought conditions.

Market Overview:
-US equities hover near record highs but lack momentum amid fading holiday cheer.
-Fed easing optimism softens, raising concerns about overstretched valuations and dovish bets.
-Bitcoin (COIN) regains ground on ETF anticipation, while oil retreats and bonds advance.

Key Points:
-S&P 500 stalls just shy of all-time high, lacking fresh catalysts and facing profit-taking risk.
-Traders divided on Fed cutting rates as early as March, with concerns about “too optimistic” wagers.
-Tech giants’ dominance wanes despite AI boom, as worries about a potential correction shift focus.
-Geopolitical jitters and corporate news like NYT’s AI lawsuit add an element of uncertainty.

Looking Ahead:
-Economic data and corporate events in the coming week could offer direction for risk assets.
-Bitcoin may see volatility as ETF approval speculation heats up.
-Markets likely to remain susceptible to swings due to thin holiday trading volumes.

Amidst this backdrop, the Treasury market (TLT) saw a rise in demand, particularly in the five-year note segment. This demand for Treasuries, coupled with data showing progress in inflation control, suggested a potential soft-landing scenario for the U.S. economy in the coming year. However, the tech sector, which had seen remarkable growth, showed signs of cooling as investor confidence in the broader economy increased post-Fed’s July rate hike.

In the broader market, oil prices receded from monthly highs amidst technical weaknesses and changing trade dynamics in the Red Sea. ‘s recovery, fueled by renewed speculation about SEC’s ETF approval, added another dimension to the market’s varied movements. This multifaceted market scenario painted a picture of cautious optimism, with investors balancing their expectations of Fed policy against the realities of an evolving economic landscape.

This article was originally published on Quiver Quantitative

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