What’s Behind Thursday’s Market Movements: Stocks Pause, Gold Hits New Highs, Bitcoin Rebounds as Traders Reassess Interest Rate Path

U.S. Equity Indices Hold Steady as Interest Rate Cut Expectations Waver

Fed Governor’s Comments and GDP Revision Impact Market Sentiment

In the final session of the short trading week leading up to Easter festivities, U.S. equity indices held steady, reflecting some setbacks in market expectations regarding interest rate reductions.

On Wednesday, Fed Governor Christopher J. Waller spoke in opposition to an early interest rate cut, citing the still uncertain inflation path, and noted that his stance is shared by a robust share of the Fed board.

Thursday saw an upward revision to the fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product, with the economy expanding by 3.4% on an annualized basis, exceeding the previously estimated 3.2%.

Traders marginally scaled back their bets on a June rate cut scenario, now placing the likelihood at 64%, down from 70% on Wednesday, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

While the S&P 500 and the Dow remained unchanged for the day, the Nasdaq 100 eased by 0.2%, influenced by reduced rate cut expectations and increasing commodity prices that weighed on tech companies.

Commodity Prices Surge, Bitcoin Rebounds

Gold surged to $2,225 per ounce intraday during midday trading in New York, reaching new all-time highs. WTI light crude prices climbed by 1.2% to $82.50 per barrel.

Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) rebounded beyond $70,700, displaying remarkable resilience despite the pause in risk appetite toward stocks.

March Performance and Stock Movers

As we approach the final trading day of March, U.S. major averages are poised to conclude their fifth consecutive month of gains. Interestingly, this month has seen small caps, as tracked by the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSE:IWM), outperform large-cap indices.

Gold mining stocks rallied Thursday as the precious metal updated record highs. Newmont Corp. (NYSE:NEM) was up 2.8%, Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE:GOLD) 2.2% and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE:AEM) 2.7%.

Nikola Corp. (NYSE:NKLA) surged by over 11%, fueled by rumors of a short squeeze circulating within the Reddit community.

The Estée Lauder Company (NYSE:EL) rose more than 6% after the company announced a deal with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to distribute the Clinique brand through the retail giant’s platform.

RH (NYSE:RH) rose over 17% after reporting better-than-expected results last quarter.

Other companies reacting to earnings were Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA), up 2.5%, MSC Industrial Direct Company Inc. (NYSE:MSN) down 2%, REX American Resources Corp. (NYSE:REX), up 30% and Perspective Therapeutics Inc. (NYSE:CATX), down 1%.

Companies set to report after the close are Semtech Corp. (NASDAQ:SMTC), Oxford Industries Inc. (NYSE:OXM) and Immunome Inc. (NASDAQ:IMNM).


Related articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here