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US Markets, The Week Ahead – Labour Market and Tech Trends Take Centre Stage

Analyst Team trader
Updated 3 Jun 2024

The end of May marked a tepid finish for stocks despite a generally positive month, as investors stepped back from the initial excitement over AI advancements and the ongoing anticipation of the Federal Reserve's actions. The Nasdaq Composite nearly held steady, while the S&P 500 edged up just under 0.8%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.51%.

Heading into the new month, key developments in the labour market are slated to catch the eyes of investors. The upcoming week promises a plethora of employment data, including the May jobs report, openings in the job market, and private wage growth statistics. These figures are watched closely as they not only signify the health of the labor market but can also provide hints on the direction of consumer spending and overall economic activity.

Markets paid close attention to the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index, which evidenced a modest 0.2% uptick, marking the smallest month-over-month escalation of the year. Such indicators are vital in assessing inflationary pressures and consumer behaviour, both of which weigh heavily on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decisions. Presently, the market is pricing in fewer than two rate cuts this year, a sentiment that has remained unchanged despite various economic signals.


Investors have been navigating through an earning season with mixed results, where Nvidia's impressive earnings gave lift to the Nasdaq Composite, propelling it towards its best May since 2003. On the other end of the spectrum, the performance exhibited by Dell, Salesforce, and MongoDB left the market wanting. As we move closer to June 10, and Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, anticipation builds around the performance of AI stocks and the broader movement of mega-cap tech companies.

The strength of the stock market's recent climb to record heights has been somewhat under debate due to market breadth—a measure of how many stocks are participating in the move. While a broad spectrum of sectors has been rallying, strategists have pointed out that this isn't fully resonating with the market's ascent, stirring a bit of unease. Despite that, historical trends suggest that low breadth readings could potentially be bullish, hinting at better performance for the stocks in the succeeding months.

Moreover, the week ahead is packed with economic updates that investors will need to unpack. These updates span manufacturing, construction spending, job openings, factory orders, and payroll data. Such a diverse range of information will offer a multi-faceted view into the health and direction of the United States economy.

Lastly, earnings reports from notable companies are on the radar for the coming week. CrowdStrike, Dollar Tree, Lululemon, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and DocuSign are among those poised to disclose their financial performance, potentially adding further contours to the market landscape as investors search for growth signals amid a complex economic backdrop.

The first week of the new trading month is set to be an informative one, laden with crucial labour market data and a glimpse into the tech world's dynamism driven by AI developments and mega cap companies. Markets will be watching these indicators to gauge the direction of both the economy and the stock market as we navigate through the latter half of the year.

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The AskTraders Analyst Team features experts in technical and fundamental analysis, as well as traders specializing in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.