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Before the pace of purchasing slows down in anticipation of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a series of financial data releases are poised to reveal the upcoming drivers for market fluctuations. On Wednesday, U.S. stock futures remained relatively stable.

Following a decline of 62 points on Tuesday, closing at 35,088, the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a 30-point increase, equivalent to a 0.1% rise. Meanwhile, with the Nasdaq’s tech-heavy stocks holding steady, S&P 500 futures inched up by less than 0.1%.

Nvidia, a major publicly traded company, experienced a 1% dip in its Nasdaq shares due to quarterly earnings, exerting downward pressure on the tech sector benchmarks. As some reports slated for later in the week are being released ahead of the upcoming holiday market closure and shortened trading hours on Friday, a slew of financial data releases could provide investors with additional considerations before the break.

Pierre Veyret, a strategist at ActivTrades, noted, “Investor sentiment appears to be pausing in anticipation of the forthcoming wave of financial updates preceding Thanksgiving.”

Market participants will scrutinize the data closely to glean the latest insights into the state of the American economy, particularly focusing on indicators of inflation and growth. Recent signs of moderating inflation have buoyed companies, fostering expectations that the Federal Reserve might halt interest rate hikes and potentially initiate rate cuts as early as March next year.

Upcoming releases such as weekly jobless claims, durable goods orders for October, and the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index, which includes crucial inflation expectations, are on the horizon. The labor market needs to strike a delicate balance—not too tight or overheated to prompt the Fed to continue raising rates, yet not too weak to raise concerns. Market participants will seek confirmation that inflation is on a downward trajectory while growth remains stable.

Jim Reid, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, remarked, “Activity is likely to decelerate rapidly around midday in New York as planes, trains, and trucks are mobilized for the annual U.S. Thanksgiving exodus.” Two key factors make the upcoming days intriguing. Firstly, wages have been gradually increasing over the past month, coinciding with the week of pay reviews.

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Last modified: February 22, 2024
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