The Markets (as of market close March 26, 2021)

Stocks ended last Monday mostly higher, as a rise in Treasury prices sent yields lower, which offered a boost to equities, particularly tech shares. The Nasdaq jumped 1.2%, the S&P 500 gained 0.7%, and the Dow rose 0.3%. Small-cap shares underperformed, driving the Russell 2000 down 0.9%. The Global Dow dipped 0.2%. Crude oil prices advanced, while the dollar weakened. Market sectors that gained included information technology, consumer staples, real estate, communication services, consumer discretionary, materials, and health care. Financials, energy, industrials, and utilities fell.

Stocks plunged last Tuesday as investors feared a delay in global economic reopenings following a rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe. Further adding to investor angst was news that the housing sector, which had been soaring, receded in February. Small caps continued to underperform, driving the Russell 2000 down 3.6%. The Global Dow lost 1.2%, the Nasdaq fell 1.1%, the Dow dipped 0.9%, and the S&P 500 gave back 0.8%. Treasury yields and crude oil prices plummeted, while the dollar gained. Utilities (1.5%), consumer staples (0.4%), and real estate (0.4%) were the only market sectors to advance. Materials (-2.1%), industrials (-1.8%), financials (-1.4%), and energy (-1.4%) declined the most.

Last Wednesday proved to be a rough day for equities as losses in communication services, consumer discretionary, and information technology outweighed gains in energy, industrials, and materials. The Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq were hit the hardest, falling 2.4% and 2.0%, respectively. The Global Dow and the S&P 500 each declined 0.6%, while the Dow broke even on the day. The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped, while the dollar gained. Crude oil prices surged, partly due to the blockage of the Suez Canal by a giant cargo ship.

A rally last Thursday pushed stocks higher, rebounding from the dismal returns of the prior day. The Russell 2000 advanced 2.3%, but remains nearly 8.0% below its mid-February high. The Dow gained 0.6%, followed by the S&P 500 (0.5%), the Global Dow (0.4%), and the Nasdaq (0.1%). Financials, industrials, and materials were the leading sectors, while communication services and information technology lost value. Treasury yields closed unchanged from the previous day, while crude oil continued to fall. The dollar rose 0.4%.

Friday saw the S&P 500 enjoy its best day in three weeks, as each of the benchmark indexes posted solid gains by the close of trading. Investors were optimistic after President Biden promised to double the vaccine output and the Federal Reserve eased restrictions on dividends for banks. Energy, materials, real estate, and information technology each gained at least 2.5%, with only communication services lagging. The Russell 2000 led the way, adding 1.8%, followed by the S&P 500 (1.7%), the Global Dow (1.6%), the Dow (1.4%), and the Nasdaq (1.2%). Treasury yields and crude oil prices advanced, while the dollar dipped marginally.

Equities ended the week mixed, with large caps outperforming small caps. The S&P 500 (1.6%) and the Dow (1.4%) advanced, while the Russell 2000 (-2.9%) and the Nasdaq (-0.6%) could not recover from their respective losses earlier in the week. Among the sectors, only communication services (-1.8%) and consumer discretionary (-0.2%) lost value. The remaining sectors enjoyed a solid week, led by real estate (4.3%), consumer staples (4.0%), and energy (3.1%). The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell, as did crude oil prices and gold. Despite Friday’s downturn, the dollar advanced for the week.

The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $2.865 per gallon on March 22, $0.012 per gallon more than the prior week’s price and $0.745 higher than a year ago. Over the same period, the national average retail price for diesel fuel was $3.194 per gallon, $0.003 per gallon above the prior week’s level and $0.535 higher than a year ago. Click here for entire article:Winthrop Partners Market Update 3-29-21