US Stocks Ended March 30, 2018

 
Stocks, measured by the S&P 500, closed higher this holiday shortened week by 2%. The index closed the first three months of 2018 down -0.76%, its first quarterly loss since 2015. The first quarter of the year has seen an increase in volatility in both the news and in the markets. The S&P 500 has had a daily gain or loss of greater than 1% 23 times this year compared to only eight in all of 2017. Technology stocks felt the weight of FANG as Amazon took the sector lower earlier in the week after Facebook was the laggard the previous week. Consumer Staples stocks were the best performing group in the S&P 500 with the classic names of Clorox and Church & Dwight leading the gains. The sector rallied each day last week as US Treasury yields dropped. Other rate sensitive sectors joined with Real Estate, Telecommunication Services, Utilities, and Financials all up over 2% for the week. Energy was the worst performing sector last week after oil closed lower by -1.43% at $64.94 a barrel. The worst performing company in the sector, Baker Hughes, traded lower each day last week in step with oil prices. Looking ahead to next quarter, investors will be riding the wave of positive economic news. Personal income rose slightly for a second straight month as households also increased consumption. This slight blip in momentum could be offset by an employment number that is at a 45-year low and a positive outlook for discretionary spending driven by the new tax cuts which came into effect in January.
Posted on Monday, April 2, 2018 @ 8:23 AM

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.