The Markets (as of market close March 19, 2021)
Stocks opened last week higher on encouraging economic and vaccine news. The S&P 500 climbed for the fifth straight session, closing up 0.7%, and the Dow advanced for the seventh session, reaching another record high after gaining 0.5%. Tech stocks rebounded, driving the Nasdaq up 1.1%. The Russell 2000 and the Global Dow each rose 0.3%. Crude oil prices and Treasury yields fell, while the dollar inched up. Utilities led the advancing sectors, climbing 1.4%, consumer discretionary and real estate each rose 1.2%, and information technology jumped 1.1%. Energy (-1.3%) and financials (-0.6%) were the only sectors to lose ground.
Last Tuesday, stocks retreated for the first time in several sessions. The Russell 2000 plunged 1.7%, followed by the Dow (-0.4%), the Global Dow (-0.2%), and the S&P 500 (-0.2%). Technology shares climbed, pushing the Nasdaq up marginally. Long-term Treasury yields rose, moving closer to their one-year highs. Crude oil prices dipped, while the dollar advanced. Energy, financials, industrials, materials, and consumer discretionary lagged, while communication services and information technology advanced.
Investors got good news from the Federal Reserve last Wednesday. Following its meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee indicated that the economy was showing signs of gradual recovery, but not enough to temper the accommodative measures in place, including maintaining interest rates at near zero through 2023. By the close of trading, both the Dow and the S&P 500 reached record highs after increasing 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively. The Russell 2000 climbed 0.7%, the Nasdaq gained 0.4%, and the Global Dow jumped 0.4%. Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose, while crude oil prices and the dollar sank. Several market sectors advanced, with consumer discretionary (1.4%) and industrials (1.1%) climbing the highest. Health care, utilities, and consumer staples decreased.
Tech shares plunged last Thursday, pulling the Nasdaq down 3.0%. The Russell 2000 lost 2.9%, the S&P 500 fell 1.5%, and the Dow gave back 0.5%. The Global Dow inched up 0.3%. Crude oil prices declined 8.1%, falling below $60 per barrel. Renewed fears of rising inflation drove Treasury prices lower and yields higher. Ten-year Treasury yields increased 9 basis points, jumping to 1.7% — their highest mark in more than a year. The dollar gained against a basket of currencies. By the close of trading, only financials
advanced. A major sell-off drove energy down 4.7%, while information technology fell
2.9%, and consumer discretionary lost 2.6%.
Stocks closed last Friday with mixed results. Tech shares rebounded somewhat to push
the Nasdaq up 0.8%. The small caps of the Russell 2000 advanced 0.9% on the day.
On the other hand, the Dow and the Global Dow each closed down 0.7%, while the S&P
500 slipped 0.1%. Both communication services and consumer discretionary gained
0.8% to lead the market sectors, while financials (-1.2%) and real estate (-1.3%) lagged.
Treasury yields, crude oil prices, and the dollar all advanced.
The risk of rising inflation continued to influence investors last week, as they weigh that
risk against the prospects of an accelerating economy. Each of the benchmarks lost
value, led by the Russell 2000, which plunged 2.8%. Among the sectors, only
communication services (0.5%), health care (0.4%), and consumer staples (0.2%)
advanced last week. Lagging last week were energy (-7.7%), financials (-1.6%), and
information technology (-1.4%). Despite a Friday rally, crude oil prices closed the week
down 1.1%, the dollar rose 0.3%, gold climbed 1.1%, and 10-year Treasury yields rose
10 basis points.
The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $2.853 per gallon on March
15, $0.082 per gallon more than the prior week’s price and $0.605 higher than a year
ago. U.S. crude oil imports averaged 5.3 million barrels per day last week, down by
332,000 barrels per day from the previous week. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories
(excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 2.4 million barrels
from the previous week. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 0.5 million
barrels last week and are about 4% below the five-year average for this time of year. Click here for entire article:Winthrop Partners Market Update 3-22-21