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Week in Review: Jan.1.2024 - Jan.5.2024

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January 8, 2024

Market Recap


The S&P 500 index slipped 1.5% last week, marking a bumpy start to the new year and snapping a nine-week winning streak. The market benchmark ended Friday's session at 4,697.24, down from last Friday's closing level of 4,769.83. The move came in just four sessions as the US stock market was closed Monday for New Year's Day.

The S&P 500's decline last week came as investors adjusted their portfolios following a 24% jump in 2023. The index was flirting with record highs heading into the week amid easing inflation data that helped curb fears of another rate increase by the Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee. Some jitters and caution, however, were evident last week as the new year began with looming questions over the Fed committee's next moves.

While the S&P 500 was down in the first three sessions of 2024, it did edge up 0.2% on Friday amid the release of data showing employers added more jobs than expected in December. The unemployment rate stayed at 3.7%. Still, Friday's increase was too small to outweigh the prior three days' declines.

The technology sector had the largest percentage drop for the week, falling 4.1%, followed by a 3.5% slide in consumer discretionary and a 2.1% decline in industrials. Other sectors in the red on last week included real estate, materials and communication services.

Five sectors still rose during the week, limiting the S&P 500's decline. Health care led the gainers with a 2.1% increase, followed by a 1.8% rise in utilities and a 1.1% advance in energy. Financials edged up 0.3% while consumer staples eked out a gain of less than 0.1%.

Decliners in the technology sector included shares of Enphase Energy (ENPH), which fell 13% on the week as KeyBanc downgraded its investment rating on the energy technology company's shares to sector weight from overweight. KeyBanc cited a "unfavorable setup" amid uncertain timing of a recovery in demand.

In consumer discretionary, shares of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) shed 11% as Wells Fargo downgraded its investment rating on the cruise operator's stock to equalweight from overweight.

On the upside, the health care sector's gainers included shares of Moderna (MRNA), which rose 12% as Oppenheimer upgraded its investment rating on the vaccine maker's shares to outperform from perform. In making the upgrade, Oppenheimer said Moderna has multiple catalysts emerging in the next two years that could make it a five-product commercial company by 2026 and accelerate top-line growth starting in 2025.

Economic data will be on the lighter side early this week, though investors will be paying close attention to the December consumer price index scheduled for Thursday and the December producer price index to be released on Friday, both of which are key inflation readings.

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