Daily Market Color

S&P 500 Hits New Record, While Japan Flirts with Currency Intervention 

Equity indices close at record levels. The S&P 500 jumped ~0.50% in the last hour of trading to reach a new closing record of ~5,249, while the Dow and NASDAQ also climbed ~1.00% and ~0.50%, respectively. Equities rose ~10% this quarter, buoyed by resilient consumers and continued US economic strength. Strong demand at today’s 7-year UST auction contributed to today’s 2-5bp drop in yields on the long end of the curve, during an otherwise relatively quiet day. Markets are now largely gearing up for this Friday’s PCE results.

Yen hits a 34-year low. The Japanese yen fell to historically low levels this morning after dropping to nearly 152 per dollar, it’s weakest level since 1990. The yen’s 2024 sell-off continued even after the BOJ announced the end of negative rates last week, as officials emphasized that policy would remain accommodative while additional hikes would be gradual. The yen (slightly) rebounded to ~151 per dollar intraday as reports emerged that officials gathered for an unscheduled meeting, which prompted speculation of potential intervention. Top currency official Masato Kanda said, “We will take appropriate action against excessive moves without ruling out any options.”

The madness returns tomorrow. Though this year’s NCAA basketball tournament has not featured as many significant upsets as years past, madness has remained. Oakland, James Madison, Yale, and Grand Canyon highlighted in round 1, though they were all bounced in their next game. Meanwhile, the top two seeds from each region advanced to the sweet 16 for the fifth time ever, though Houston was pushed to overtime by a miracle Texas A&M buzzer-beating three. UConn remains the overwhelming favorite to win the championship in their attempt to repeat, a feat not accomplished since Florida in 2007.

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