Weekly Market Recap – May 10, 2024

Weekly Recap:

In a mostly quiet week for macro news, rate volatility eased lower and stocks moved higher, although Friday’s U of M consumer sentiment print caused a modest reversal of those trends.

The BofA MOVE index (a measure of Treasury rate volatility, similar to the VIX for equities) finished the week at 94.23, its lowest level since the start of April and one of the lowest prints of the past 2 years. While rate vol is still elevated relative to pre-pandemic norms, it has been trending lower over the past 12 months, to the benefit of stock prices. See the Chart of the Week for a time MOVE index time series.

Stocks finished the week in the green across the board, led by utilities which have been on a remarkable run lately after being mostly unloved for the better part of 2 years. As of Friday’s close, S&P 500 Utilities Sector Index had risen 13.5% since mid-April, vaulting it into second place in YTD performance amongst sectors in the S&P, trailing only Communications which has been driven primarily by technology stocks within the sector, including Meta (Facebook) and Alphabet (Google).

While the week was mostly quiet from a macro perspective, it ended on somewhat of a sour note as the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment survey came in weaker than expected across the board in the preliminary May reading. The headline index fell nearly 7 points to 67.4, with significant weakness in both Current Conditions (68.8 vs. consensus of 79.0) and Future Expectations (66.5 vs. consensus of 75.0). Perhaps most concerning was that consumers’ inflation expectations moved higher: short term (1y) expectations increased 30bp to 3.5%, while longer term (5-10y) expectations increased 10bp to 3.1%.

Chart of the Week: BofA MOVE Index

Albion’s “Four Pillars”:

Economy & Earnings

The US economy has been resilient despite the higher interest rate environment. Analysts are forecasting low double digit EPS growth in 2024; growth of that magnitude will depend on the economy avoiding recession.


The S&P 500’s forward P/E of 20.4x is above the long run average, so valuation could be a headwind to future returns. More predictive metrics like CAPE, Tobin’s Q, and the Buffett Indicator (Eq Mkt Cap / GDP) suggest that compound annual returns over the next decade are likely to be in the mid single digits.

Interest Rates

Futures markets imply that the Fed will cut overnight interest rates once or possibly twice in 2024, most likely at some point in the 2nd half of the year. Rate cut expectations have been tempered recently due to sticky inflation prints.


After falling rapidly in late 2022 and all of 2023, inflation has become sticky in the 3-4% range in early 2024. Services inflation remains somewhat elevated, in part due to heavily lagged shelter costs. Rising oil prices driven by armed conflicts in Ukraine and the middle east are also a risk to the inflation outlook.