Market Recap: Tech Shines, Durable Goods Disappoint

January's durable goods orders report fell short of expectations, leading to a downturn in the USD post-release.

By Farah Mourad | 27 February 2024

Market close
  • Nvidia and Meta emerge as top performers on the S&P 50

  • Despite the disappointing economic data, indices are showing resilience

Stocks are striving to regain momentum after last week's strong performance. Although European indices and US futures started off modestly, they have begun to inch higher in anticipation of US trading. The US released durable goods orders data for January, with projections suggesting a significant decline in headline orders alongside a marginal uptick in core orders excluding transportation. However, the actual report disappointed expectations, as headline orders fell more sharply than anticipated and core orders unexpectedly dipped lower as well. Consequently, the USD experienced a downturn post-release.

In the currency markets, major currencies remained relatively stable today, with the exception of the Japanese yen, which showed slight movement. Gold maintained its upward trajectory, reclaiming losses for the month and reaching $2,038.

Turning to the oil market, prices continue to grapple with sideways movement observed over the past 2-3 weeks. US oil exports surged to 4.8 million barrels per day in February 2024, marking a new record high. The upcoming US refinery maintenance season, anticipated to be one of the most extensive in years, might lead to inventory declines ahead of the US driving season. Despite the looming Chinese refinery maintenance season, China maintains steady oil cargo purchases, fueling speculation that Chinese state refineries may ramp up production post-Lunar New Year.

In market insights, Nvidia emerges as the top-performing stock on the S&P 500 this year, boasting a nearly 60% year-to-date increase. Meta follows closely behind, with a gain of over 36% in 2024. While much attention is focused on the tech sector's influence on the market, a deeper analysis reveals a broader rally across various sectors over the past year.