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July 16th 2024, 4:27:21 pm

(about a few seconds ago)

US stocks snap a four-week rally.

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North American equities lost steam today, snapping the longest weekly rally since November. Options contract expiry worth 2 trillion and next week’s Federal Reserve meeting put investors on the back foot. The US S&P 500, which gained 15% since mid-June, lost 1.21%, and tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 2.62% this week. Canada’s S&P/TSX was less volatile, edging 0.34% lower.

 

The US central bank officials will meet next week to decide on the need to further interest rate increases. The latest strong job report and officials’ comments on the need for further tightening to drive inflation lower underlines the possibility of another 0.75% of a rate hike next week.

 

The meme stock topic is back, this time with Bed Bath and Beyond which had a massive rally but tumbled 40% after activist investor Ryan Cohen sold his entire stake in the company. The continued lackluster performance of Bitcoin pulled crypto-linked stocks lower, including Coinbase, Marathon, and Riot Blockchain, each losing more than 8%. Bitcoin fell back below USD22,000.

 

On the economic side, Canada’s producer Price Index declined 2.1% in July due to lower energy and petroleum product prices. Canadian companies have paid less for raw materials in the past two months.