Economic Beat: U.S. equities ended mostly higher for March
How will current market developments affect you? The thought leaders at Fifth Third Bank can help make sense of it all. Listen to the Economic Beat as they discuss what happened last week and what they expect will be the focus of this week.
Economic Beat: April 03, 2023
Major U.S. equity indices rose in last week’s trading, with the S&P 500 Index up 3.5% in total return for its third straight weekly increase. The Nasdaq Composite added 3.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.2% for the week. Listen to this week’s full Economic Beat update or read the transcript below.
Hello, this is Claire Ellerhorst, Senior Portfolio Manager at Fifth Third Bank with this week’s Economic Beat.
Major U.S. equity indices rose in last week’s trading, with the S&P 500 Index up 3.5% in total return for its third straight weekly increase. The Nasdaq Composite added 3.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.2% for the week. Treasuries were weaker, with the 2-year U.S. Treasury yield rising back above 4% and the spread between the 2-year and 10-year yields widening further.
For the full month of March, U.S. equities ended mostly higher, despite significant volatility around the evolving banking crisis. Growth stocks outperformed value, Treasuries were firmer and gold rose in March. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices dropped for a fifth consecutive month and the U.S. dollar weakened versus major peers.
It was a quieter week to end the month in terms of banking headlines, along with a very light economic and earnings calendar. Several Federal Reserve officials spoke publicly, though there were no major shifts in the narrative from policymakers. The Fed continues to emphasize that more work needs to be done to bring inflation closer to target, but the current banking situation has brought some additional uncertainty around the central bank’s path.
On the economic calendar, March consumer confidence increased modestly amid improved expectations. Pending homes sales rose for a third straight month in February, up 0.8% from January. Core personal consumption expenditures, one of the Fed’s preferred measures of inflation, rose three tenths of one percent in February, below consensus expectations.
In the week ahead, economic releases include the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing and Services Purchasing Managers’ Indexes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes its monthly employment situation report on Friday, which includes March payrolls and unemployment figures. It is a short week for markets, with the New York Stock Exchange closed in observance of Good Friday.
As always, we’ll be watching and reporting back to you. Thank you.