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Stubborn inflation: Inflation remains a central concern for both consumers and investors. Recent data has shown a higher-than-expected inflation rate, causing disappointment as investors recalibrate their expectations for rates to begin easing. While markets have given up some gains, they are still materially higher for the year, demonstrating resilience even as prospects for Fed rate cuts diminish. The Fed will likely remain devoted to the data, and while these elevated inflation numbers were not helpful to the prospects of lowering rates, they are also not entirely unexpected, as disinflation has historically been a bumpy process.

The consensus outlook for 2024 rate cuts seems to be settling on one versus the hoped for three plus. It is also possible that there may be no cuts at all this year, as the Fed looks to ensure their fight against inflation is successful long-term. A more in-depth discussion can be found here.

1st quarter corporate earnings begin: The first quarter earnings season is underway, providing a glimpse into corporate performance across various sectors. Early reports suggest strong results, with four out of five companies exceeding expectations. The market rallied last week on the heels of solid earnings from the Mega-Cap space. Here is a good recap of recent influential reports and what is coming up this week.