All three major stock market averages benefitted from a late day broad-based rally into the close on Friday, as the S&P 500 ended with a daily gain of 1.7%, and the Dow jumped over 450 points. For the week as a whole, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.6% to 3,974.54 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.4% to 33,072.88, both of which are new record highs. The NASDAQ Composite ended the week with a moderate loss of .6%, closing at 13,138.72. Overall, it was another volatile week, with sectors seen benefiting the most from an economic recovery outperforming.
The market remains largely focused on positive big themes such as the economic reopening, the rebound in corporate earnings, the vaccine rollout, and the benefits of both fiscal policy and monetary policy, which are providing massive amounts of support to the economy. Consistent with this positivity, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index came in with a final reading of 84.9 for March, surpassing expectations of 83.7, and up from 76.8 in February.
The week ahead is holiday-shortened, as the market is closed in observance of Good Friday. Despite the markets being closed, the United States Department of Labor is still releasing the March Jobs Report on Friday, so we’ll have to wait to Monday morning to see the market reaction. Expectations are for the economy to add 614,000 jobs and for the unemployment rate to improve a couple notches to 6%, which would be the lowest number since before the pandemic started. Some companies of note included in the trickle of earnings reports due out this week include Chewy, FactSet Research, Micron Technology, and Walgreens Boots Alliance.
All the best – Southport Station Financial Management, LLC