Journal Record Index: Dow closes above 40,000 for first time


It was a buoyant week for Wall Street, with the iconic Dow industrials breaking the 40K barrier as our trading session ended May 17, 2024.

The Labor Department said that applications for jobless benefits slid by 10,000, to 222,000. The Commerce Department reported that retail sales were unchanged in April, from March, at 0.6%, far below what economists expected.

Consumer prices slowed their climb in April from the month before. The Labor Department said that prices rose 0.3%, compared to a 0.4% gain the month before. A secondary gauge, which removes the more changeable food and energy prices, was at its lowest level in three years. Homebuilders had a bump as investors were hoping the Fed would hasten lowering of interest rates, and thus mortgage rates would also come down.

Even so, wholesale prices increased dramatically in April. The Labor Department said that the producer price index was up 0.5%, after falling by 0.1% the previous month. However, some portions of the index show signs of cooling.

“Hopefully the consumer isn’t running out of steam, but with pandemic savings spent, rising delinquencies, slower wage growth, and now flat retail sales, a more abrupt slowing of the economy can’t be ruled out,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief economist at Annex Wealth Management.

The Journal Record Stock Index increased 57.03 points, or 2.47%, and closed at 2,366.35. Advancing issues bypassed declining issues by a 14-to-6 count.

Gulfport Energy jumped 10.66 points, or 7.22%, and reached a new 52-week high at 165.19. Volume was elevated, too, with 332,000 shares changing hands on its busiest day; the stock’s average daily volume is roughly 251,000. GPOR closed at 158.37, and was the top dollar gainer.

AAON slid 2.41 points, or 3.12%, and ended at 74.88. Investment firm William Blair cut earnings per share (EPS) forecasts for fiscal year 2024. Analyst R. Merkel now says AAON will earn $2.22 EPS; previous estimates were $2.25 EPS. The firm has an “outperform” rating on the stock. Consensus estimates come in at $2.23. AAON was the top dollar loser.

Paycom Software was lifted 8.89 points, or 5.13%. Investment firm Charles Schwab Investment Management, among others, raised its stake in PAYC in a filing recently disclosed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Schwab acquired 12,708 shares and now owns 302,544 shares. The holding was valued at $62,542,000 in the SEC filing. PAYC closed at 182.28.


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As a subject matter expert, Brian Jacobsen, Chief Economist at Annex Wealth Management is often interviewed with individuals not affiliated with the firm. Annex Wealth Management does not have control over the content or opinions expressed by these unaffiliated parties.

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