THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
The combination of an improving inflation outlook resulted in a week of uneven, albeit positive, performance, in which cyclical and financial stocks rallied while technology, real estate, and utilities lagged.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.20%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.79%. The Nasdaq Composite index increased 0.29% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, added 2.08%.1,2,3
Last week provided fresh insight into inflation, and the news was encouraging.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose a very modest 0.1% in March, while the year-over-year increase in consumer prices was 5.0%, down from February’s 12-month rise of 6.0%. Declines aided the March report in groceries, gasoline, medical care, and utilities.4
The read on supplier prices was even more positive. The Producer Price Index (PPI), which many economists see as a signal of future consumer prices, declined 0.5%–the most significant monthly decline since 2020. The 12-month increase as of March was 2.7%, an easing from February’s year-over-year climb of 4.9%.5
1. The Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2023
2. The Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2023
4. The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2023
5. The Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2023