Healthy Stocks: The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have experienced significant gains early in February, rising by roughly 3% and 4% respectively, and challenging the historical trend of February as a traditionally weak month for stocks.
No Dice: The Fed didn't give the market what it was hoping for this week — interest rate cuts. Instead, Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, emphasized their plans to ensure inflation will remain on its current downward path before making any chops.
Job Surge: January saw a significant job growth rebound, with 353,000 jobs added, far exceeding economists’ expectations.
Steady Unemployment: The unemployment rate remained constant at 3.7%, with labor force participation also steady.
Consumer Confidence Up: The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased by 6.3% in January, and up 8.3% year-over-year.
Wage Growth Accelerates: Average hourly earnings growth increased to 0.6% month-to-month, with a year-to-year rise to 4.5%.
In the Market: The consumer’s view of buying conditions for vehicles increased to the highest level since the summer of 2021 as views of prices and interest rates were less negative. However, plans to purchase a vehicle in the next six months declined to the lowest level since April and was down from a year ago.
Market Stability: January's Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index remained steady at 204.0 from December, yet marked a 9.2% decrease year-over-year.
Cold Cuts: The pace of new-vehicle sales decreased in January to its slowest since last March as harsh winter weather disrupted sales.
Price Plunge: Compact cars and EVs faced steep dips in January. Midsize cars and pickups also experienced slightly higher declines, while SUVs matched the industry's average 9.2% drop.
Robust Recovery: Fueled by pent-up demand and improved dealership inventories, U.S. auto sales soared to 15.5M in 2023, marking a 12.4% increase from the previous year.
Pickup Trucks Lead: The Ford F-Series continued its four-decade-long reign as America's best-selling vehicle, making up nearly 40% of Ford's total sales. They were followed closely by the Chevrolet Silverado with a 6.1% increase in sales and the most affordable model priced at around $38K.
Electric and Hybrid Growth: Ford's EV sales grew by 18% and hybrid sales by 25%, while Tesla's Model Y emerged as the top-selling EV.