Commentary- Testing AI News For This Week 

US traders braced for a steady rebound after early 2024 market sell-off. Stocks stabilized, and investors pondered the timing of possible interest-rate cuts. The escalation of Middle East conflict further stimulated oil prices, causing a ripple effect on oil majors like TotalEnergies SE and BP Plc. Market watchers are focused on key US non-farm payrolls data due Friday for insights on the US economy's status and the potential scope for rate cuts. Stocks fell earlier in the year with the Nasdaq 100 Index down 3%, fueling speculation that the previous year’s surge was overstated. However, experts like global market strategist Vincent Juvyns of JPMorgan Asset Management maintain a positive outlook, saying markets might pull back but stay strong overall. Brent crude reached $79 per barrel, driven up by supply disruptions in Libya and attacks in Iran. Eurozo

ne inflation rose slightly in December, and Federal reserve meeting minutes released this week suggested rates could stay at restrictive levels for some time. Source: Yahoo Finance

U.S. stock futures were uneven with the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gaining by 80 points, 0.2% higher, the S&P 500 futures ticked up 0.1%, but Nasdaq 100 futures nudged down 0.1%. Walgreens Boots Alliance shares rose by over 2% after beating fiscal Q1 earnings expectations. The major indices are under pressure after a tough trading session where the Dow lost nearly 300 points and the Nasdaq Composite recorded its fourth straight loss. Major tech stocks such as Apple are suffering due to lofty valuations and concerns around interest rate hikes. Apple shares are down more than 4% this week. This comes after both Piper Sandler and Barclays downgraded the tech giant. Source: CNBC

Gold bulls seem non-committed amid mixed fundamental cues, US ADP report eyed 

Gold prices have seen a fluctuating market due to mixed signals suggesting uncertainty among traders who remain undecided regarding their commitment. After dropping to a one-and-half-week low on Wednesday, influenced by rising US Treasury bond yields and a stronger US Dollar, the gold prices climbed back up, benefiting from geopolitical risks and China's economic uncertainties. US Dollar-denominated gold price has also received support from the unsureness surrounding the Federal Reserve's decisions on cutting interest rates. The gold market is also being closely watched amid anticipation of the US Nonfarm Payrolls report on Friday. Traders will also focus on Thursday's US economic docket which includes the ADP report on private-sector employment. Federal Reserve rate cuts anticipated in March along with geopolitical tensions provide a boost to gold prices, however, its inability to yield might limit those gains, suggesting a mixed fundamental backdrop as well as traders' caution. Source: FXStreet

History Favors More Upside for the S&P 500 in 2024 

Motley Fool analysis suggests history favors more upside for the S&P 500 in 2024. Historical data indicates that after a loss, the index usually experiences continuous gain, with 2023-ended positively after a 2022 drop. Inflation, which escalated to its 40 years peak in 2022, dropped to 3.5% by end of 2023, further boosting the stock market. Lower interest rates have also favored stock, making the borrowing cost for companies cheaper, enhancing their operations' growth and expansion. Despite the aggressive hike of the federal funds rate by the Federal Reserve from 0.25% to 5.5% in 2021 to manage inflation, Wall Street foresees six interest rate reductions in 2024 due to CPI's steep decline. Notwithstanding unexpected market factors such as geopolitical tensions or higher inflation that can hamper performance, a subdued inflation environment could signal the start of a multi-year bull run. Source: The Motley Fool

World shares are mixed after Wall Street extends its weak start to 2024 
World stocks showed mixed responses following Wall Street's weak start to 2024, with Asian shares plummeting as Tokyo's exchange began the year with a general decline. The somber mood in Tokyo, influenced by a recent major earthquake, saw Japan’s Nikkei 225 fall by 0.5% to 33,288.29. In contrast, shares in Europe opened higher, with Germany's DAX and the CAC 40 in Paris each gaining 0.4%. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were also slightly up by 0.1%. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Dow both experienced an 0.8% loss, while the Nasdaq composite led the market lower with a 1.2% loss. Analysts anticipate that the Federal Reserve might first cut interest rates in March, potentially by at least 1.50 percentage points. Source: KOB 4

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