Market Recap: May 2024

May 31, 2024
May 2024 Market Recap header image

Market commentary

  • The U.S. economy grew at a slower pace of 1.3% annualized rate from January through March, revised down from an initial estimate of 1.6%.
  • Despite this slowdown, and after three straight months of decline, U.S. consumer confidence increased in May.
  • Indicating a tightening labor market, the U.S. economy added only 175,000 jobs in April, representing the lowest total since October 2023.
  • Following April’s unexpected spike, CPI retreated slightly, although inflation remained above levels seen earlier this year.


Select economic and market data

Statistic (monthly unless noted)



U.S. GDP (quarterly) 1.3% 3.4%
Consumer Confidence 102 97.5
Consumer Price Index Y/Y 3.4% 3.5%
Core PCE (x food & energy) 2.8% 2.8%
ISM Manufacturing Index 48.7 49.2
Unemployment Rate 3.9% 3.8%
2-Year Treasury Yield 4.87% 5.04%
10-Year Treasury Yield 4.50% 4.68%



  • U.S. stocks broadly got a boost from easing Treasury yields after the latest reading on inflation came in roughly as expected.
  • Historically the second worst month for stocks, May delivered strong returns, especially in technology and interest-rate sensitive stocks.
  • Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite recorded five consecutive weeks of gains.
May 2024 Equities Indices graph


Fixed income

  • Lower rates led to strong returns across the spectrum of fixed income investments.
  • An expected $340 billion net increase in U.S. government bonds for June should test investors’ appetite for debt and could provide some upward pressure on yields.


May 2024 Fixed Income indices graph

Strategic outlook

  • Some caution warranted on equities in the near-term, particularly in high-growth large-cap stocks after recent rally; currently favoring small-cap and mid-cap domestic stocks longer-term.
  • Above-average volatility is likely given central bank involvement and geopolitical uncertainty.
  • Near-average expected returns projected for fixed income after period of rising rates and bond market sell‐off.
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