Blog Post

Stocks End the Week Mixed Following The Start of 1st Quarter Earnings

Major stock indices ended the week mixed with gains in U.S. indices but losses in developed international and emerging markets.  The Nasdaq composite index had the largest gain.  S&P 500 companies started reporting 1st quarter earnings with modest gains from a year ago.

Treasury bond yields rose with the 30-year bond yield at 4.333% and the 10-Year note at 4.131%.  Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year mortgage rate fell to 6.60%.  Crude oil rose to $73.71 a barrel and natural gas fell to $2.240 per MMBTUs.  The U.S. dollar index fell to 102.41 and gold fell to $2031.80 an ounce.

  • China reported:
    • Its gross domestic product rose at a 5.2% rate in the fourth quarter and 5.2% for the year 2023.
    • Retail sales in December were up 7.4% from a year ago.
    • Real estate prices fell 0.4% in the month of December.
    • Fixed asset investment rose 3.0% for 2023.
    • Youth unemployment (ages 16 to 24 and not in school) was 14.9%.
  • The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales fell 1.0% in December.
    • The median existing home sale price rose 4.4% from a year ago to $382,600.
  • The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production rose 0.1% in December and 1.0% from a year ago.
    • Manufacturing rose 0.1% and 1.2% year over year.
    • Mining, including oil and gas production, rose 0.9% and 4.3% from a year ago.
    • Utilities fell 1.0% and are down 4.9% from a year ago.
  • The Commerce Department reported:
    • Housing starts fell a seasonally adjusted 4.3% in December following a revised 10.8% increase in November. 
      • From last December housing starts have risen 7.6%
      • Permits, a sign of future starts, rose 1.9% in December and up 6.1% from last December.
  • The Labor Department reported:
    • Seasonally adjusted first-time claims for unemployment were 187,000 a decrease from the previous week’s revised level of 203,000.  This is the lowest initial claims have been since September 24, 2022.
      • The 4-week moving average of claims, designed to smooth out volatility, was 203,250, a decrease of 4750 from the previous week’s revised level. 
      • For the full unemployment report go here: .
  • The EIA weekly oil report is here: .  Also, the EIA reported in the prior week:
    • Field production of crude oil rose from 13.2MM BPD to 13.3MM BPD.
    • Natural gas storage fell 154BN cubic feet and above the highest it has been during the past five years at this time of year.
  • Baker Hughes reported the number of oil rigs fell 2 to 497 and the number of natural gas rigs rose 3 to 120.
  • Factset reported with 10% of S&P 500 companies reporting 4th quarter earnings, the blended earnings increase was 1.6%.

Please call us if you have any questions.

Loren Rex – Emeritus

Erik A Smith, AIF® – President & C.E.O.

These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice. The Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Dow Jones, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index of 30 prominent companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. The DJIA is one of the oldest and most commonly followed equity indexes. The Nasdaq Composite is a stock market index that includes almost all stocks listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange (more than 2500 stocks).



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