Forefront Market Notes: February 19th, 2024

Forefront’s Market Notes: February 19th, 2024


Stocks fell last week as investors reacted to disappointing inflation updates and other economic reports that fell short of estimates.


Stocks Snap Winning Streak

Markets were quiet Monday but opened lower Tuesday in response to the January inflation report that showed higher-than-expected consumer prices. But stocks regained some momentum on Wednesday and rallied Thursday despite disappointing reports on both retail sales and industrial production for January.1,2

News of higher-than-expected wholesale prices on Friday put investors back on edge and kept stocks from ending the week on a positive note. The weekly loss broke a five-week winning streak.3


Source:, February 17, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, February 12, to Friday, February 16.
ROC 5 = the rate of change in the index for the previous 5 trading days.
TR = total return for the index, which includes any dividends as well as any other cash distributions during the period.
Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.


Inflated Perspective

Consumer Price Index data was one of the big pieces of news driving markets last week, with January’s numbers coming in at 3.1 percent compared to a year prior—cooler than December’s 3.4 percent year-over-year gain but warmer than the 2.9 percent consensus. Jittery Investors focused on the hotter-than-expected part.4

With the consumer report closely followed by disappointing inflation news on the producer level, attention quickly shifted to the Fed and what’s next for interest rates. While the Fed has indicated short-term rates may trend lower in 2024, the January inflation reports support Fed Chair Powell’s recent comments that the Fed is in no hurry to cut rates.4


Taking a Side Gig? Here’s How It May Affect Your Taxes

Taxpayers who work in the gig economy may benefit from a better understanding of how their work affects their taxes. Taxpayers who work in the gig economy may benefit from a better understanding of how their work affects their taxes. 

Here are some things taxpayers should know about the gig economy and taxes:

  • Money earned through this work may be taxable.
  • There are tax implications for the company providing the platform and the individual performing the services. 

This income may be taxable even if the taxpayer providing the service doesn’t receive a Form 1099-MISC, Form 1099-K, or Form W-2. This income may also be taxable if the activity is only part-time or side work or paid in cash. 

*This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. Please discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov5

Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2024.

2. CNBC, February 16, 2024.

3. The Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2024.

4. The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2024.

5., April 7, 2023.


Stock market calendar this week:

None scheduled, President’s Day holiday
10:00 AM U.S. leading economic indicators
8:00 AM Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic delivers welcoming remarks
1:00 PM Fed Gov. Michelle Bowman speaks
2:00 PM Minutes of Fed’s January FOMC meeting
8:30 AM Initial jobless claims
9:45 AM S&P flash U.S. services PMI
9:45 AM S&P flash U.S. manufacturing PMI
10:00 AM Existing home sales
10:00 AM Fed Vice Chair Philip Jefferson speaks
3:15 PM Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker speaks
5:00 PM Fed Gov. Lisa Cook speaks
5:00 PM Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks
7:35 PM Fed Gov. Christopher Waller speaks
None scheduled

Most anticipated earnings for this week:


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About Amit: I am a first generation American, the son of a working-class Indian family, and I lived through my parents’ struggle to find their place in this country, to put down roots that would sustain them as well as their children in a new land. As they encouraged me to excel in school and fostered my hobbies and interests, I was keenly aware of the dynamic between them. I understood that there was a difference between where they came from individually and where we were now. They worked hard in their individual capacities, but they weren’t always on the same page about financial issues – and that can make or break a family’s future. I didn’t know it at the time, but this laid the groundwork for my passion towards financial services and helping families succeed.