Wall Street got mixed up: Powell and Trump stole the headlines

Wall Street got mixed up: Powell and Trump stole the headlines

It was expected to be a hot day on Wall Street on the first trading day after Easter — and on the first trading day of the second quarter — but one of the three major indexes turned bullish on the brink:

  • The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.20 percent to 5,243.77 points.
  • Industrial heavyweight Dow Jones fell 0.60 percent to 39,566.85 points, its worst day in more than two weeks.
  • The Nasdaq Composite technology index rose 0.11 percent to 16,396.83.

At the close of trading, the yield on ten-year US government bonds reached 4.315, rising by 2.9 percent. The VIX fear index rose 4.9 percent to 13.65 points. The May contract for Brent crude fell 0.1 percent to $87.61 a barrel. per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.7 percent to $83.95 per barrel.

The price of gold also reached new levels on Easter.

Hence, the second quarter got off to a mixed start, with all three major indicators leaving behind a fresh start to the year. The S&P 500 finished 10.2 percent higher in the first quarter — its best gain in this period since 2019. The Dow rose 5.6 percent in the January-March period, while the Nasdaq rose 9.1 percent, according to CNN. NBC.

The Fed is in no hurry

Monday's stock market performance came after the Fed's preferred inflation target came in as expected on Good Friday, when stock markets were closed. The core PCE index showed price growth of 0.3% month-on-month in February, in line with consensus, and down from a revised 0.5% in the previous month. Annual price growth was 2.8 percent as expected, down from a revised 2.9 percent in January.

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Following these numbers, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell noted that economic growth remains strong and inflation remains above the central bank's target — so the Fed “doesn't need to rush to cut,” according to CNBC.

New key US numbers arrived on Monday which support the growth point. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 50.3 points in March, from 47.8 the previous month, and above the consensus of 48.4. This is the first sign of increased activity in this measure after 16 months of decline, according to Trading Economics. Incidentally, final S&P manufacturing PMI numbers showed a reading of 51.9 in March, a downward revision from the previous month's reading of 52.5.

Trump falls hard

One stock that outperformed again on Monday was Trump Media Technology Group, which owns Donald Trump's social media broker Truth Social. The stock closed down 21.5 percent at $48.65, but was down 25 percent for a period of time. The stock fell after the company reported a loss of $58 million for fiscal 2023, affected by interest expenses. This corresponds to more than NOK 630 million. Revenues amounted to only $4.1 million.

The previous year, Trump's newly listed company, of which the former president himself owns just over 57 percent, had revenues of less than $1.47 million but profits of $50.5 million, according to CNBC.

On the day of its debut on the stock market, Trump's stock rose by 16%, and the next day it rose by 14%. Trump Media Technology Group has gone public through a merger with shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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