Forefront Market Notes: February 5th, 2024

Forefront’s Market Notes: February 5th, 2024


Stocks pushed higher last week as investors cheered mega-cap tech corporate reports and a better-than-expected employment report.

Stocks at New Highs

At the beginning of the week, stocks surged, anticipating fourth-quarter corporate updates from tech companies and the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting; this led to the S&P 500 Index reaching a new record high on Monday.

The market remained relatively stable for the rest of the week until Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve announced its decision to maintain interest rates within the 5.25-5.50 percent target range. The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) news unsettled investors, who anticipated that rates would remain unchanged but expected more specific guidance on the Fed’s plan to lower interest rates.1

On Friday, the job report for January revealed the addition of 353,000 new jobs, surpassing the forecast of 185,000. This strong report did not negatively impact the markets. Instead, investors interpreted it as confirmation of a robust economy.2


Source:, February 3, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, January 29, to Friday, February 2.
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.

Fed’s Mixed Signals

The Fed’s decision to keep rates steady left some investors disappointed, as they had been hoping for indications of rate cuts in the coming months; this led to a decline in stock prices on Wednesday, with increased selling towards the end of the trading day.

The Wall Street Journal’s headline after the FOMC meeting on Wednesday suggested that rate cuts were possible but not expected immediately. The FOMC’s policy language, released after the meeting, indicated a subtle shift from considering rate cuts to proposing they could be possible unless inflation became a concern.3

Vacation Home Rentals

If you receive money for the use of your primary residence, you may have to report this rental income on your tax return; this means that the “vacation home rental” classification can apply to your home, even if you don’t own multiple short-term rental properties. The rental expense deduction is limited in the case of a property used as a home; the rental expenses can’t be more than the rent received. The rental income may not require reporting if you rent the house to your tenant for fewer than 15 days during the year.

A vacation home is a house, apartment, condominium, or other dwelling that you use to generate income, but you can also use it as a residence during the year. For tax purposes, it’s critical to divide the expenses of a property into personal and business purposes.

To report rental income and rental expenses, use Schedule E. In addition, rental income may be subject to a net investment income tax.

*This tax tip is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals for more specific information.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov4

Footnotes and Sources

1., January 29, 2024

2. The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2024

3., February 2, 2024

4., September 25, 2023 


Stock market calendar this week:

9:45 AM S&P final U.S. services PMI
10:00 AM Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee TV appearance
10:00 AM ISM services
2:00 PM Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic gives welcoming remarks
12:00 PM Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester speaks
1:00 PM Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks
2:00 PM Boston Fed President Susan Collins speaks
7:00 PM Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker speaks
8:30 AM U.S. trade deficit
11:00 AM Fed Gov. Adriana Kugler speaks
11:30 AM Boston Fed President Susan Collins speaks
12:30 PM Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin speaks
2:00 PM Fed Gov. Michelle Bowman speaks
3:00 PM Consumer credit
3:00 PM CBO briefing on budget and economic outlook
8:30 AM Initial jobless claims
10:00 AM Wholesale inventories
12:05 PM Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin speaks
8:30 AM CPI seasonal factor revisions
1:30 PM Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan speaks

Most anticipated earnings for this week:


Did you miss our last blog?

Market Notes: January 29th


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.