March 11, 2024

Impending Inflation Report Threatens Stock Market's 2024 Bull Run

In 2024, the U.S. stock market is robust. Investors await an inflation report to guide potential Federal Reserve rate cuts. Positive job numbers in February suggest room for cuts without recession fears. Experts advise caution, emphasizing monitoring inflation and market dynamics. Confidence remains in the economy's resilience and the benefits of gradual rate cuts aiming for stable inflation.

The U.S. Stock Market Prepares for Crucial 2024 Inflation Test Amidst Continued Bull Run

As the 2024 bull market charges ahead, the U.S. stock market braces for a pivotal inflation report, offering insights into the economy's trajectory for a soft landing.

Anticipated cuts to interest rates by the Federal Reserve in 2024 reflect a hopeful stance against inflation, even amidst a low unemployment rate. All eyes are on Tuesday's February inflation report from the consumer-price index, with traders eager to gauge the timing of potential rate cuts.

"The Fed doesn't need inflation at 2% to ease," remarked Phil Camporeale, portfolio manager for J.P. Morgan Asset Management's global allocation strategy. "They just need inflation not to worsen."

Though inflation has decreased significantly from its 2022 peak of over 9%, it has yet to meet the Fed's 2% target. January's consumer-price index data, hotter than expected, led to a sharp drop in U.S. stocks upon release.

Despite these challenges, Camporeale remains bullish, calling this a unique time for U.S. market risk-taking.

Following Friday's employment report showing stronger-than-expected job creation in February, Camporeale notes the Fed's potential rate cuts this year are promising for stocks, with the economy showing resilience.

The central bank has maintained its benchmark rate between 5.25% to 5.5%, the highest in 22 years, aiming to sustainably lower inflation towards the 2% target.

Market strategist Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab warns that any significant deviation from expectations in February's inflation reading could swiftly impact the market.

She notes the nuanced relationship between U.S. stocks and the bond market, where Treasury yields influence market breadth, affecting stock market movements.

Traders are eyeing potential rate cuts as early as June, aligning with Camporeale's anticipation, barring unexpected inflationary surprises.

Despite Friday's market dip, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, S&P 500 SPX, and Nasdaq Composite COMP all seeing weekly declines, the S&P 500 remains up over 7% for the year, nearing its record high.

Looking ahead, Camporeale maintains an overweight position in equities, particularly favoring U.S. large-cap stocks. He foresees a broadening rally, though not banking on an ideal scenario of multiple rate cuts due to falling inflation.

His vision of a soft landing for the U.S. economy includes gradual Fed rate reductions with GDP growth around 2%, maintaining inflation slightly below the 2% mark by year-end.

In expectations for February's consumer-price-index report, economists at BofA Global Research foresee a slowdown in core inflation, potentially easing concerns of a reacceleration in prices.


The U.S. stock market is currently experiencing a strong bull run in 2024. Investors are closely watching an upcoming inflation report, which will provide crucial information about the economy's direction and the potential for interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

There is optimism that the Fed will start cutting interest rates this year, as it appears to be successfully managing inflation despite low unemployment rates. The focus is on the February inflation report to gauge when these rate cuts might happen.

Investors are also considering the recent employment report, which showed positive job creation in February. This report suggests that the Fed could cut rates without the economy slipping into a recession, which is generally positive for stocks.

Market experts are advising caution, however, as any unexpected changes in inflation could quickly impact the market. The relationship between U.S. stocks and Treasury yields is also being closely monitored, as changes in yields influence market movements.

Overall, there is a sense that the U.S. economy is resilient and that the Fed's potential rate cuts could be beneficial for stocks. The expectation is for a gradual reduction in rates throughout the year, with the hope of maintaining inflation around 2% by the end of 2024.

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