This short week finished with SP500 closing at 4020, up 1.1%, Dow up 0.2% to 33153 and NASDAQ up 2.6 to 13480.
The smaller companies also rose with mid cap SP400 up 0.8% and small cap SP600 up 0.7%.
For the past 3 months, SP500 is up 7.0%, Dow up 8.3%, NASDAQ up 4.6%, SP400 up 14.8% and SP600 up 19.8%
Over the last 6 months, SP500 up 19.5%, Dow up 19.3%, NASDAQ up 20.7%, SP400 up 42.3% and SP600 up 56.7%
In past year SP500 is up 51.2%, Dow up 46.4%, NASDAQ up 70.9%, SP400 up 83.3% and SP600 up 98.5%
For the broad market indices, DOW has been best over the past 3 months, and NASDAQ over the past 6 to 12 months. Based on market cap, the small cap SP600 did best over the past 3, 6 and 12 months.
For the SP sectors, the past week saw XLB (materials) down – 0.3%, XLC (communications) up 3.2%, XLE (energy) down - 0.2%, XLF (finance) up 0.3%, XLI (industrial) up 0.5%, XLK (technology) up 2.1%, XLP (staples) down – 0.9%, XLRE (real estate) up 0.5%, XLU (utilities) up 0.8%, XLV (health) down – 0.5% and XLY (discretionary) up 2.0%
For 3 months XLB up 9.8%, XLC up 10.5%, XLE up 32.7%, XLF up 17.0%, XLI up 11.5%, XLK up 4.2%, XLP up 0.7%, XLRE up 9.6%, XLU up 2.1%, XLV up 2.7% and XLY up 5.4%
Over 6 months XLB is up 25.0%, XLC up 25.6%, XLE up 67.7%, XLF up 43.2%, XLI up 28.3%, XLK up 16.1%, XLP up 6.1%, XLRE up 13.6%, XLU up 7.7%, XLV up 10.3% and XLY up 15.2%
In the past year XLB up 73.6%, XLC up 64.7%, XLE up 60.2%, XLF up 63.5%, XLI up 64.1%, XLK up 63.3%, XLP up 18.5%, XLRE up 27.7%, XLU 14.7%, XLV up 27.5% and XLY up 69.2%.
The relative performance of the sectors was 1 week XLC best and XLP worst, 3 months XLE best and XLP worst, 6 months XLE best and XLP worst and 12 months XLB best and XLU worst.
Most of the economic news in this short week was positive. The Consumer Confidence index from the Confidence Board climbed to its highest reading in one year with the value climbing to 109.7 compared with 90.4 in February. Both the Present Situation Index, from 89.6 210.0, and the Expectations Index from 90.92 109.6, climbed showing that economic growth is likely to accelerate in the coming months. The ISM Manufacturing index grew for the 10th consecutive month, rising to a value of 64.7, up by 3.9% from February.
There were several employment reports. The ADP National report showed that the private sector increased by 517,000 jobs in March. This was the strongest gain since September 2020, and was especially pronounced in the leisure and hospitality industries. Initial unemployment was slightly higher at 719,000 compared with 658,000 last week, with continuing claims down slightly to just under 3,800,000. On Friday, the report showed a gain of 916,000 jobs in March and a decrease in the unemployment rate from 6.2% in February to a value of 6.0% in March. Improvement was attributed to better vaccine distribution, the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, and a number of states lifting restrictions on businesses.
The Case-Shiller home price index for January reported 11.2% annual gain, up from 10.4% in the previous month. The month over month increase after seasonal adjustment was 1.2%. This trend of increasing prices began in June 2020 and indicates that buyers are moving from urban apartments to suburban houses. Pending home sales, however, dropped for the 2nd straight month dropped by 10.6% in February. Nonresidential construction spending also dropped by 1.3% in February.
The SPX hit a new record this week, closing above 4,000 for the first time. There several encouraging economic reports (listed above) along with enthusiasm about the proposed 2.3 trillion dollar infrastructure plan, tempered by some worry about the tax changes to pay for it. The news on COVID vaccine distribution is generally good and some states are easing lockdowns.
After transiently hitting a one year high of 1.76, the Treasury yield finished the week at 1.68. The first quarter saw the biggest rise in treasury yields since 2016.
Stock Wealth Safely this week
Stock Wealth Safely selection TAP reached its 5% target one week after selection, compared with a 0.8% rise for the SPX during that time. The Stock Wealth Safely approach is a good way of creating investor wealth.
BDX was the new Stock Wealth Safely selection.