Week Ahead on Wall Street: Beyond 5,000

By: Mario Ismailanji · February 12, 2024 · Reading Time: 5 minutes

The name’s 500. S&P 500. Or should we say S&P 5,000, now that the index crossed that threshold?

The index, which is the broadest gauge of the U.S. stock market, crossed the 5,000 mark for the first time ever last week, and even though the level itself isn’t fundamentally significant, it’s a round number that is psychologically important. Passing it doesn’t mean that the market is off to the races, or that we can’t slump back down. Instead, stocks might now be looking for a catalyst to really tip the scales in any meaningful direction from here.

So what could those catalysts be? Inflation data is an obvious choice, given that the latest Consumer and Producer Price Indexes, as well as revisions of the 2023 PPI data get released this week. The Federal Reserve has highlighted inflation data as being a key determining factor of where interest rate policy may go from here, so any inflation surprises would be sure to shake things up. Overall, however, relatively low jobless claims and strong S&P 500 company earnings surprises have painted a picture of a strong economy that doesn’t need rate cuts — yet.

That’s why the Fed’s recent pushback against market expectations for a March rate cut makes sense. Investors are left with the same question as last week: If not March, when? And as the 5,000 point threshold came and went, investors may also face a different question: So long as the economy remains on solid footing and recession worries stay muted, does it even matter when the first rate cut is?

Economic Events and Earnings Reports


•   January New York Fed Survey of Consumer Expectations: This is a measure of peoples’ expectations for inflation, jobs prospects, earnings growth, and more.

•   January Budget Statement: The U.S. government releases its latest monthly budget deficit or surplus.

•   Fedspeak: Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will moderate a discussion with the former CEO of IBM at the Economic Club of Minnesota.

•   Earnings: Arista Networks (ANET), Cadence Design Systems (CDNS), Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT), Principal Financial Group (PFG), Trimble (TRMB), and Waste Management (WM).


•   January NFIB Small Business Optimism: This measures how small business owners feel about current and future economic conditions.

•   January Consumer Price Index: The CPI is one of the most popular indicators for tracking consumer price trends and is a marquee release for market watchers. CPI has come down notably from its peak in 2022 but remains somewhat above pre-pandemic levels.

•   Earnings: Airbnb (ABNB), American International Group (AIG), Akamai Technologies (AKAM), Biogen (BIIB), DaVita (DVA), Ecolab (ECL), Hasbro (HAS), Howmet Aerospace (HWM), Incyte (INCY), Invitation Homes (INVH), Coca-Cola (KO), Leidos Holdings (LDOS), Marriott International (MAR), Moody’s (MCO), MGM Resorts International (MGM), Molson Coors Brewing (TAP), Welltower (WELL), and Zoetis (ZTS).


•   2023 Producer Price Index Revisions: Revisions to the seasonal adjustments of the prior year’s PPI are commonly released in February. Importantly, the unadjusted data does not change during this process.

•   Weekly Mortgage Applications: Mortgage activity gives insight on demand conditions in the housing market.

•   Fedspeak: Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee will be interviewed at a Q&A event with the Council on Foreign Relations. Governor and Vice Chair of Supervision Michael Barr will speak at the National Association for Business Economics economics policy conference.

•   Earnings: Arch Capital Group (ACGL), Albemarle (ALB), American Water Works (AWK), CF Industries Holdings (CF), CME Group (CME), Charles River Laboratories International (CRL), Cisco (CSCO), Equinix (EQIX), EQT (EQT), Eversource Energy (ES), Generac Holdings (GNRC), Global Payments (GPN), IQVIA Holdings (IQV), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Martin Marietta Materials (MLM), Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Rollins (ROL), Tyler Technologies (TYL), Ventas (VTR), Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies (WAB), and Williams Companies (WMB).


•   January Retail Sales: This is a key indicator of consumer demand.

•   January Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Activity: The Philadelphia Fed’s survey of manufacturing executives in the region on business conditions and their outlook.

•   January Empire State Manufacturing Activity: The New York Fed’s survey of manufacturing executives in the region on business conditions and their outlook.

•   January Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: The industrial sector accounts for much of the cyclical swings in economic activity.

•   January Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales: This release provides insight into combined changes in retail and wholesale trade, as well as manufacturing activity.

•   February NAHB Housing Market Index: This index tracks how homebuilders feel about the current and future state of the single-family housing market.

•   Weekly Jobless Claims: This high frequency labor market data gives insight into filings for unemployment benefits. Jobless claims have continued to show a labor market that remains strong despite having cooled.

•   Fedspeak: Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic will give a speech on the economic outlook and monetary policy at the Money Marketeers of New York University.

•   Earnings: Applied Materials (AMAT), Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO), CBRE Group (CBRE), Deere & Company (DE), Digital Realty Trust (DLR), Consolidated Edison (ED), EPAM Systems (EPAM), Genuine Parts (GPC), Ingersoll Rand (IR), Laboratory of America Holdings (LH), Alliant Energy (LNT), Southern Company (SO), Targa Resources (TRGP), West Pharmaceutical Services (WST), and Zebra Technologies (ZBRA).


•   January Producer Price Index: The PPI tracks price trends that producers face and is down significantly from its peak earlier in the cycle.

•   February University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment: How consumers feel about economic conditions may affect their spending habits. This survey places a particular focus on inflation and its trajectory.

•   January Building Permits and Housing Starts: Construction data is a leading indicator of business activity.

•   January New York Services Activity: The New York Fed’s survey of manufacturing executives in the region on business conditions and their outlook.

•   Fedspeak: San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly will give the keynote address at the National Association for Business Economics economics policy conference.

•   Earnings: Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), Constellation Energy Co (CEG), PPL (PPL), and Vulcan Materials (VMC).

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