Bullish sentiment continues to decline among individual investors as inflation remains elevated. According to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment survey, optimism about the stock market’s short-term outlook decreased for the second consecutive week. Currently, 43.4% of respondents express optimism, compared to 47.3% and 50% in the previous two weeks. Conversely, bearish sentiment rose to 24% from last week’s 22.2%. Neutral sentiments also increased to 32.5% this week, up from 30.5% the previous week.

The recent consumer inflation report, which exceeded economists’ expectations by climbing 0.4% in March, dampened hopes for near-term Federal Reserve rate cuts. Analyst James Kostohryz suggests that barring significant disruptions like a war or oil supply crisis, there’s little justification for rate cuts before October 2024. However, President Joe Biden maintains his prediction of Fed rate cuts by year-end.

Market futures for the Nasdaq, S&P, and Dow edged higher on Thursday despite recent declines. The S&P 500 (SP500) fell nearly 1% over the past week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) declined over 1%, and the NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 0.6%. The NASDAQ 100 Index saw a decline of 0.8%.

In the cryptocurrency and commodities markets, Bitcoin USD (BTC-USD) rose 4% since last Thursday, while Gold increased by nearly 3%. Gold futures achieved another record high settlement on Tuesday before experiencing a slight pullback on Wednesday.

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