Forefront Market Notes: March 4th, 2024

Forefront’s Market Notes:

March 4th, 2024


Stocks extended their tech-led advance last week as signs of a resilient and still-enthusiastic consumer boosted momentum.


Nasdaq Sets New High

Stocks traded in a narrow band early in the week but ended the five-trading sessions with a powerful advance.

While the Dow dipped lower, artificial intelligence (AI) names powered the gains in the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite. The Nasdaq bobbed around the 16,000 level for most of the week before posting consecutive record highs on Thursday and Friday, surpassing its 2021 record. It was the last of the three major stock benchmarks to reach a record high this year.1

Economic news also helped boost markets. The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.3 percent in January versus December—and 2.4 percent on a 12-month basis. Both were in line with expectations. Stocks ticked up on Thursday following the release of the report.2


Source:, March 2, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, February 26, to Friday, March 1.
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.

Consumers Remain Upbeat

With all the excitement over AI, it’s easy to overlook some key economic indicators that also speak to the underlying strength of the economy—specifically, consumer data.

In addition to the closely watched PCE report, an end-of-week consumer survey revealed that while sentiment softened in February, it remained near a 32-month high. Fresh data this week also showed an unexpected jump in personal income.

Finally, the PCE report also reflected an ongoing consumer shift from goods to services—a sign the economy continues to normalize after the pandemic. Since two-thirds of gross domestic product comes from consumer spending, these consumer-related metrics helped support the narrative that the economy appears to be gathering momentum.


Owe the IRS Money? Here’s How to Pay

If you owe federal taxes, you must pay by the April deadline. Remember, if you get an extension to file your taxes, payment is still due by the April deadline. If you can’t pay the total amount you owe now, you may be able to set up a payment plan.

Here are some choices for making your payment:

  • Use Direct Pay: IRS Direct Pay is a free and secure way to pay directly from your checking or savings account.
  • Pay by debit or credit card: If you don’t want to link a bank account, you can use your credit or debit card. Remember that you’ll have to pay a processing fee and may incur interest charges.
  • Pay when you e-file: If you file your federal tax return electronically, you can pay directly from your bank account using electronic funds withdrawal.

*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 29, 2024
2., February 29, 2024
3., March 01, 2024
4., February 27, 2024. 
5., December 1, 2023


Stock market calendar this week:

12:00 PM Philadelphia Fed President Tom Harker speaks
10:00 AM Factory orders
10:00 AM ISM services
12:00 PM Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr speaks
3:30 PM Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr speaks
8:15 AM ADP employment
10:00 AM Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies to Congress
10:00 AM U.S. wholesale inventories
10:00 AM Job openings
12:00 PM San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly speaks
2:00 PM Federal Reserve Beige Book
4:15 PM Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks
8:30 AM Initial jobless claims
8:30 AM U.S. productivity (revision)
8:30 AM U.S. trade balance
9:40 AM Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies to Congress
11:30 AM Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester speaks
3:00 PM Consumer credit
7:00 AM New York Fed President John Williams speaks
8:30 AM U.S. nonfarm payrolls
8:30 AM U.S. unemployment rate
8:30 AM U.S. hourly wages
8:30 AM Hourly wages year over year

Most anticipated earnings for this week:


Did you miss our last blog?

Market Notes: February 26th



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.