This Weekly Financial Markets Update reviews the top market headlines: Home Prices Maintain Ascent, Consumer Sentiment Slips in February, Nasdaq Composite Index Hits All-Time High

Top Three Market Headlines

Home Prices Maintain Ascent: Home prices across the U.S. continued to rise in December, according to data released last week by S&P Dow Jones Indices. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Schiller 20-City Composite, which measures the value of residential real estate in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas, rose 0.2% (seasonally-adjusted) in December over November, the 11th straight monthly rise. On a year-over-year basis, the 20-City Composite has increased for six consecutive months, hitting a 6.1% pace in December. Prices across all 20 regions were higher versus the prior year in December, with San Diego (+8.8%), Detroit (+8.3%), and Los Angeles (+8.3%) leading the pack.

Consumer Sentiment Slips in February: After jumping in recent months, consumers' outlook for the economy retreated modestly in February, according to two widely-followed surveys released last week. The Index of Consumer Sentiment published by the University of Michigan registered 76.9 in February, down from 78.8 in January. While the February result was still notably above a recent low of 61.3 in November, it remained below the index's 30-year average of 86.8. Related, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index dipped in February to 106.7 from 110.9, its first monthly drop in four months. Survey results indicated inflation remains the chief concern among consumers.

Nasdaq Composite Index Hits All-Time High: The Nasdaq Composite Index, which covers more than 3,000 stocks listed on the Nasdaq stock market, closed last Friday at its highest level in more than two years and a new record high (16,274.94). With a year-to-date gain of 8.6%, the Index has rallied nearly 60% over the last 16 months, keyed by technology stocks, which represent more than half of the Index by market capitalization. Its top seven holdings, with a combined weight of approximately 50%, are the so-called "Magnificent Seven" technology stocks, which have risen an average of almost 150% since mid-October 2022.

As of March 04, 2024 Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World 0.77% 5.71% 5.71% 24.12%
S&P 500 0.81% 7.97% 7.97% 32.12%
Russell 2000 1.06% 2.62% 2.62% 11.13%
MSCI EAFE 0.79% 3.23% 3.23% 15.22%
MSCI Emerging Markets 0.38% 0.27% 0.27% 6.90%
FTSE NAREIT Equity 0.98% -1.25% -1.25% 8.04%
Bloomberg Commodity 0.55% -0.54% -0.54% -4.45%
Barclays U.S. Aggregate 0.39% -1.30% -1.30% 4.34%