June market recap: Inflation cools, tech heats up

June market recap: Inflation cools, tech heats up


Continued momentum for Nvidia and Apple

The dominant market theme in June was continued focus on Nvidia and the very largest US growth stocks. While Nvidia did pull back in the final two weeks of the quarter on increased concerns about valuations, continued momentum from the GPU maker’s earnings report in May resulted in a double-digit gain for the month, albeit in volatile fashion.

Apple achieved similar results following announcements about its AI beta scheduled to begin this fall, which includes a partnership with OpenAI. The features were originally viewed as underwhelming, but investors ultimately grew excited about the possibilities for accelerating the next iPhone replacement cycle. 

Inflation cooled slightly in May

Core CPI in May was reported at 3.4%, slightly lower than general expectations.2 This reinforced the likelihood of one and probably two rate cuts over the remainder of the year. Bonds posted modest gains as a result. Typically, expectations for lower rates have encouraged greater equity market breadth, but it did not happen in June. International stocks, small caps and the average stock in the S&P 500 all finished lower for the month.

Chip makers ride the AI high

At least for now, equity markets are suggesting that AI will be important to almost every industry, but that the profits it generates will flow almost exclusively to select chip makers and hyperscale cloud providers. We believe that may prove to be a shortsighted view.


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1 Empower YCharts as of 3rd July 2024.

2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Consumer Price Index,” July 2024.

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Craig Birk, CFP®


Craig Birk is the Chief Investment Officer for Empower Personal Wealth. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, he is responsible for Empower’s retail investment portfolio, providing strategic and executive direction to drive the optimal management of client assets.

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