The Markets (as of market close May 12, 2023)
Stocks trended lower last week, with only the Nasdaq able to eke out a gain. Investors remained pensive as they await negotiations on the debt ceiling. With roughly 92% of the S&P 500 companies having reported first-quarter earnings thus far, results appear headed down 2.5% from last year. This follows a 4.6% drop in fourth-quarter earnings. Despite the downturn, FactSet reported that 78% of the companies have reported earnings that beat expectations, which is the most since the third quarter of 2021. So far in 2023, only the Russell 2000 has yet to reach its 2022 closing value. The remaining benchmark indexes listed here remain ahead of where they began this year, despite lackluster results through the first two weeks of May. Crude oil prices declined for the fourth consecutive week on concerns of weakening demand. Gold prices slipped lower but remained over $2,000.00 per ounce.