January 3rd 2024, 2:55:33 pm

(about 2 months ago)

Wall Street started the year on a negative note

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The recent stock market rally reversed on the first trading day of 2024. Despite this setback, analysts remain optimistic, anticipating new highs for the stock markets throughout the year. Currently, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are still showing gains of 2.9% and 2.8%, respectively, over the past month.

Investors might need to reconsider their expectations of lower interest rates in the near future. While the market's direction remains uncertain, the initial weeks of the year are crucial and could influence the tone for the rest of 2024. If no significant sell-off occurs in early January, investors could witness new record levels for the stock markets. The S&P 500, presently at 4,700, is believed by investors to potentially surpass 5,000 in 2024.

The end of December and early January is traditionally a high-turnover period for portfolios as investors engage in tax loss harvesting. Although a smooth landing is anticipated for this year, concerns loom regarding the potential impact of higher interest rates in 2024, compounded by geopolitical tensions, which may pose challenges for the markets.

In contrast, the recent rally in cryptocurrencies has heightened investor enthusiasm, with Bitcoin surpassing $45,000 for the first time in two years. Meanwhile, oil prices hover around $72 a barrel, and the US dollar has experienced a slight appreciation against all other major currencies.