Three Things to Know & Watch

Mar 4, 2024

By Bill Hornbarger, Chief Investment Officer
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Three Things to Watch

  • U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell heads to Washington on Wednesday and Thursday to deliver his semiannual testimony on monetary policy to both houses of Congress. In recent comments, Fed speakers have stressed that they can afford to be patient in terms of cutting interest rates due to the underlying strength of the U.S. economy. Recent inflation readings indicate that some price pressures still exist, and Fed Chairman Powell is expected to indicate any rate cuts will be later in the year. The market has seemingly embraced that view with futures now indicating the first rate cut in June.
  • The highlight of the data calendar will be Friday’s employment report for February. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to increase 200,000, and the unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 3.7%. One thing to watch is hourly earnings, which are expected to soften on a year-over-year basis from recent readings. The job situation has been surprisingly resilient in the face of the Fed tightening, and that is expected to remain the case.
  • OPEC+ extended production cuts until midyear, and oil has hit the highest level in four months. For skeptical stock investors looking for reasons to take profits, the ascent in oil prices bears watching.

Three Things to Know

  • NVDA officially closed with a market cap in excess of $2 trillion on Friday, up from $280 billion in October 2022. (Source: The Market Ear)
  • NVDA is worth more than all these companies combined: AT&T, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Disney, FedEx, General Motors, IBM, McDonalds, Nike, Starbucks, UPS and Walmart. (Source: The Market Ear)
  • The U.S. national debt has now increased by $3 trillion since the debt ceiling was suspended last June (nine months ago). (Source: @Charliebilello)


The above information reflects the current opinion of the author. It is based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward-looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security mentioned.