This Friday morning's "3 Witches" session, which was shaping up to be an auspicious one (the pre-opening gain on the February maturity was in excess of 4%, and everything pointed to a final bouquet in the form of new all-time highs), turned out to be a disappointment.

No 16th week of gains for Wall Street, and yet the S&P500 and Dow Jones remained in a position to pull off the feat until around 8.15pm (the closing levels of Friday February 9 having been surpassed), validating the pre-opening gains and foreshadowing a record close.

In fact, the S&P500 equalled its pre-opening all-time high, rising to 5,045 around midday.
In the end, the S&P dropped 0.48% to 5,005pts (-0.42% hebdo) and the Dow Jones -0.4% to 38,628.
The Nasdaq had started the day badly and ended it even worse, with -0.9% to 17,686 (-1.5% hebdo).686 (-1.5% weekly, having peaked at 17,950 around midday), in the wake of Micron -2.6%, On Semiconductors -2.5%, Meta -2.2%, Qualcomm -2, Alphabet -1.6%, Cisco -1.3%.
A few survivors: Applied Materials +6.4%, eBay +2%, KLA +1.4%, LAM Research +1.3%

In addition to the heaviness of 'techno' stocks, the S&P500 suffered from the downturn of homebuilders such as Beazer Homes -3.6%, Pulte -2.9%, DR Horton -2.8%.... due to the deterioration in interest rates, with the 10-year yield up 5 points to 4.284% and the 30-year yield up 3 points to 4.445%.

This tension was blamed on the "PPI": producer prices in the US rose by 0.9% year-on-year in January, whereas they had been expected to rise by 0.6% (versus +1% in December). On a monthly basis, producer prices were up by 0.3%, against an expected rise of 0.1%.
Excluding food and energy, they rose by 0.6% on a monthly basis, compared with a consensus of +0.1% and +0.2% in December.
As was the case on Tuesday with the CPI (consumer price index), the consensus was disappointed: all the more so as the PPI is a component of the PCE index (the measure of inflation most closely followed by the Fed).

Building permits also disappointed, with an annualized decline of -1.5% to 1,470 million in the US.
And it gets worse with housing starts, which fell by -14.8% to 1.331 million, after 1.562 million in December (vs. 1.450 expected).

Building permits and housing starts continued to be penalized by high interest rates, and this will not improve in February as mortgage rates rise sharply.

US consumer confidence improved slightly this month, according to the University of Michigan's preliminary estimate of 79.6, compared with 79 the previous month.

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