Weekly Economic Update: March 11, 2024

The Markets (as of market close March 8, 2024)

Wall Street fell from record highs to close generally lower last week. A better-than-expected jobs report helped support the notion that the economy remains strong and that the Federal Reserve will likely cut interest rates, possibly after their June meeting. However, the unemployment rate ticked up for the first time in four months. The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the decline in the benchmark stock indexes for the week, with only the Global Dow and the Russell 2000 closing higher. Crude oil prices posted a weekly loss as China’s demand waned. Gold prices rallied to their largest weekly increase in five months, driven higher by optimism of mid-year interest rate cuts.


Last Week’s Economic News

  • Employment rose by 275,000 in February.
  • According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, the number of job openings in January, at 8.9 million, was little changed from the previous month.
  • Purchasing manager survey respondents noted a solid performance in February, according to the latest purchasing managers’ index from S&P Global.
  • The international trade in goods and services deficit in January was $67.4 billion.
  • The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.350 per gallon on March 4, $0.101 per gallon more than the prior week’s price.
  • For the week ended March 2, there were 217,000 new claims for unemployment insurance, unchanged from the previous week’s level.


Eye on the Week Ahead

Inflation data for February is available this week with the Consumer Price Index, import and export prices, and the Producer Price Index. January saw prices increase across the board, although 12-month data showed prices either decreased or were unchanged.

Have a nice week!





Robert G. Carpenter

President & CEO
Baltimore-Washington Financial Advisors