Last Week Standouts: Wall Street's Best Q1 -
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Last Week Standouts: Wall Street’s Best Q1

March 31, 2024

Wall Street's Promising Start to the Year

Wall Street’s Promising Start to the Year Despite Investor Wariness

The S&P 500 had a modest uptick in the abbreviated trading week, with investors treading carefully during the quarter-end shuffle. The markets had the day off for Good Friday, but the release of key economic figures shed some light: the core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve’s favored gauge for inflation, showed signs of cooling off in February.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, speaking at an event in San Francisco, appeared pleased that the data was on track with projections. The S&P 500 wrapped up the quarter on a strong note, boasting about a 10% leap—its best kickoff to a year since 2019. To cap it off, the S&P 500 edged up by 0.4%, the Dow rose by 0.8%, and the Nasdaq Composite, with its tech-heavy lineup, dipped slightly by 0.3%.

Boeing Shakes Up Its Top Brass Amid Quality Concerns

Boeing, the aerospace titan, is shaking up its executive ranks, parting ways with three key leaders after persistent product quality concerns caught the eye of regulators and customers alike. CEO Dave Calhoun announced he’s clocking out at the year’s end. Stan Deal, chief of Boeing’s commercial airplanes sector, stepped down on the spot, and board chair Larry Kellner is bowing out of the re-election race.

A terrifying incident—a 737 Max 9 having to deal with an engine blowout mid-flight—highlights this top-tier shuffle’s arrival amid intense regulatory scrutiny. Boeing’s shares initially rallied on the news but then trimmed their gains, ultimately inching up by 1.4%. Market pundits, including Stone Fox Capital, urged investors to think twice before jumping on the Boeing bandwagon post-management overhaul.

Baltimore Bridge Collapse Raises Alarm for Supply Chain

When the 1.6-mile-long Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after hours on a fateful Tuesday, Baltimore experienced a startling disaster. The bridge met its fate when the Dali, a Maersk-chartered vessel, smashed into a pillar following a distress call.

This calamity spotlights the dire economic implications, especially for supply chain stability. Port activities in Baltimore are on pause—a critical chokepoint for East Coast trade. The disruption has sent shipments detouring, likely causing delays and inflating costs that consumers and policymakers are watching closely amid prevailing inflation worries.

FTX Founder’s Prison Sentence Sends Shockwaves Through Crypto Sphere

The FTX saga took a dramatic twist with its notorious founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, sentenced to a 25-year stretch behind bars for his hand in a sprawling financial deceit. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of Manhattan also stripped away a staggering $11.2 billion in assets. Bankman-Fried, who had faced a slew of fraud and conspiracy charges, was at the center of what U.S. Attorney Damian Williams termed “one of the greatest financial frauds in American history.” The crypto markets were buzzing at the verdict, with Bitcoin’s value skyrocketing past $70,000, flirting with record highs from just weeks before.

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