Major indices hit record close

Q4 US quarterly GDP boosts market as it records an uptick

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 29 March 2024

Market open
  • Dow and S&P 500 hit all-time highs in strongest Q1 performance since 2019, driven by optimism on potential rate cuts and economic data suggesting a gentle slowdown.

  • Q1 saw S&P 500 surge by about 10% and Dow climb nearly 6%, its best performance since 2021.

  • Revised Q4 GDP data showed the US economy expanded faster than previously thought at 3.4%, supported by strong consumer spending.

On the Market Watch:

Major indices

The Dow and S&P 500 achieved fresh all-time highs, marking their strongest first-quarter performance since 2019. This rally extended beyond the tech sector, driven by optimism regarding potential rate cuts and data suggesting the economy is on track for a gentle slowdown.

During Q1, the S&P 500 surged approximately 10%, while the Dow climbed nearly 6%, achieving its best performance since 2021.

Earlier on Thursday, data revealed that the U.S. economy expanded at a faster pace than previously thought in the fourth quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annualized rate of 3.4%, revised up from the previously reported 3.2% rate. This upward revision was driven by improvements in consumer spending, nonresidential fixed investment, and state and local government spending, all supported by a robust labor market.

In addition, a separate report indicated that initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 210,000 for the week ending March 23rd.


Investors eye the Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data, scheduled for release today. This follows recent reports of consumer and price inflation exceeding expectations in both January and February. Nevertheless, estimates indicate that the core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) is projected to decrease to 0.3% from the 0.4% recorded in February.

The dollar saw an uptick in strength early on this week, spurred by remarks from Fed Governor Christopher Waller made late Wednesday. Waller suggested that that recent disappointing inflation data could hold off the Fed from cutting interest rates as markets expected.