LGT Navigator

US stock markets pause near all-time highs

The US stock market looked like it was beginning to lose steam after continuously breaking new highs in the first weeks of the new year. While there were large swings in individual stocks reporting quarterly earnings, the broader markets moved little. 

Shane Strowmatt, LGT
Reading time
5 minutes
Investor in light and shade
© Shutterstock

Sentiment was bolstered by strong US labour market data on Thursday, but that wasn’t enough to significantly propel stock markets. Initial jobless claims fell by 9000 to 218,000 last week, coming in slightly below market expectations. The strong data backs up recent cautious comments from Federal Reserve officials that it may be too soon for interest rate cuts. A strong labour market puts more money in consumers’ pockets, while consumption drives the US economy and increases inflation.

In New York, stock indices hovered near all-time highs but lacked the impulse to carry on with the rally of recent weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial gained 0.1% and as did the S&P 500, which closed just short of the historic 5000 mark. The tech heavy Nasdaq-100 finished Thursday’s session 0.2% higher.

While the broader market moved little, there were large swings in individual stocks as earnings season continued. British semiconductor company Arm Holding shares skyrocketed almost 50% due to a strong sales outlook. Shares of Dutch payments company Adyen jumped more than 20% on Thursday after 2023 profit beat market expectations. US payments company PayPal lost 11% after its flat outlook for the year failed to impress investors. Walt Disney shares gained almost 12% after the entertainment company reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations.

In the Asia-Pacific region, stock markets finished Friday’s session mostly in positive territory, except in Hong Kong, where Hong Kong Exchange Chief Executive Nicolas Aguzin said he would be stepping down at the end of the month. The move is the second major personnel change for Chinese markets this week after the government in Beijing replaced the head of China’s securities regulation body. Chinese markets are trading at multi-year lows due to last year’s lacklustre post-lockdown performance and problems in the real estate sector. Hong Kong's markets only traded a half of a day on Friday due to the Eve of the Lunar New Year. The Hang Seng Index lost 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite gained 1.3%.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.2% breaking the 37,000 mark on Friday for the first time in 34 years. Sentiment was supported by media reports citing Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda as telling Japanese parliament that easy money conditions will continue even if the bank of Japan ends its negative interest rate policy. It is the only central bank still maintaining a negative rate target. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.4% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1%.

Corporate news in focus: Quarterly figures from PepsiCo.

Economic data in focus: German Consumer Price Index, Canadian unemployment rate.


LGT helps you make informed investment decisions

All about global economic and market trends at a glance

You can also follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn – or visit Insights and discover interesting background articles. If you have questions, a consultant from the bank will be happy to help you.

Publisher: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., Glärnischstrasse 36, CH-8027 Zurich
Editor: Alessandro Fezzi
Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.

Contact us