Despite a sharp drop on the final trading day of the month post Fed Chair Powell’s comments indicating rate cuts were not imminent, the S&P 500® rose 2% in January. The month was characterized by a series of record highs, driven by strength from the Magnificent 7, which propelled the mega-cap S&P 500 Top 50 up 3%.
Strong Q4 2023 economic data also dampened optimism that the Fed would be able to begin cutting rates as soon as March, reflected in the underperformance of smaller caps, with the S&P SmallCap 600® down 4%.
Sector performance was mixed, with gains led by Communication Services and Information Technology. Materials and Real Estate were among the laggards