Stocks rallied last week on receding fears of a widening banking crisis, led by resurging investor interest in technology and communication services names.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.22%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 3.48%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 3.37% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced by 3.34%.1,2,3
Tech Leads Rally
An absence of further bad news in the banking sector made for a good week, with high-quality technology and communication services stocks leading the market. While easing banking worries laid the groundwork for the week’s positive gains, growing conviction that Fed rate hikes were ending and positive inflation data out of Europe helped support the renewed enthusiasm for stocks.
Encouraging inflation data on the domestic front on Friday also added to the gathering optimism, igniting further gains to cap a satisfying week for investors.
Inflation Grinds Lower
In an otherwise news-light week, Friday saw the release of February’s personal income and outlays report, which provides insight into inflation and consumer expenditures, the dominant contributor to economic growth.
The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCE), the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, rose 0.3% for the month, below market expectations and below the prior month’s 0.6% jump. The year-over-year increase of 5.0% improved from January’s rise of 5.3%. Energy prices declined, partially offsetting increases in food, goods, and services. Personal income rose 0.3%, while consumer spending increased 0.2%.4
This Week: Key Economic Data
Monday: Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Index.
Tuesday: Factory Orders. Job Openings and Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
Wednesday: ADP (Automated Data Processing) Employment Report. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Services Index.
Thursday: Jobless Claims.
Friday: Employment Situation.
Source: Econoday, March 31, 2023
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Wednesday: Conagra Brands (CAG).
Thursday: Constellation Brands (STZ).
Source: Zacks, March 31, 2023
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
1. The Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2023
2. The Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2023
4. CNBC, March 31, 2023
5. IRS.gov, January 4, 2023
6. WebMD.com, November 16, 2022
Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
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