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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended March 12, 2021
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

 
Last week, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite indexes took different paths to post positive returns. After a rough patch two weeks ago, technology stocks pushed higher by over 3% with heavyweight Tesla rebounding by over 16% to lead the NASDAQ Composite higher. They S&P 500 traded higher by about 2.7%, but small cap participation in the Tuesday to Thursday rally propelled the Russell 2000 index 7.4% for the week. Market sentiment was high following the historic passing and signing of the $1.9 trillion-dollar Covid relief bill. President Biden signed the bill on Thursday, a day earlier than expected. A clearer path to fully reopening the economy is in sight as U.S. jobless benefits fell by more than consensus while vaccinations accelerated and more states have eased pandemic restrictions. Vaccine distribution is currently at 2.3 million shots per day with a total of over 100 million doses administered and 66 million people receiving at least one shot. The shot velocity is expected to gain significantly with the rollout of Johnson & Johnson's single shot vaccine. Another key to stock market appreciation is a lessened fear of inflation which has investors buying up stocks in the real estate and consumer discretionary sectors. The best performing stock in the S&P 500 came from the worst performing sector as communication services' company ViacomCBS rose 10.3% on Friday and over 28% for the week. The company has had recent success with its slate of programming including a highly watched Oprah interview with Price Harry and Megan Meghan Markle and a share of the upcoming NCAA March Madness tournament. Looking ahead to next week, the FOMC will deliver its rate decision on Wednesday along with a Summary of Economic Projections.
Posted on Monday, March 15, 2021 @ 8:15 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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