Please note – there will be NO RECAP tomorrow so that you can take part in our quarterly survey. We’ve tried to do a recap the same day as the survey but participation fell off so please spend 2 minutes tomorrow taking the survey even if the responses are the same as prior surveys. Thanks!
Indexes were up sharply at the open on – what else – talk of stimulus from some corner of the world (this time China)… and remained positive all session. The S&P 500 gained 1.22% and the NASDAQ 1.15%. This was the first back to back gains in the indexes since late February; quite rare to go that long without back to back gains (1994 was the last time). There was some merger news in the healthcare/biotech field as well. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index hit a fresh seven-year high as markets interpreted weekend comments from Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People Bank’s of China, as indication of further stimulus. Zhou warned on Sunday that the world’s second-largest economy needs to be vigilant for signs of deflation.
In economic news:
Personal income in February was mostly in-line with consensus, posting a gain of 0.4 percent, above expectations of 0.3 percent. Consumer spending rose 0.1 percent. Pending homes sales were up 3.1 percent in February, driven primarily by sales in the West and Midwest.
Fun fact: The first trading day of the second quarter, which begins on April 1, has shown strong performance over the past 20 years, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac. During that time, the S&P 500 advanced 16 times with an average gain of 0.56%.Continue reading