Dovish commentary in the Federal Reserve minutes encouraged buyers to show up in droves as worries that the Fed might tighten in early 2015 were pushed off the table. The S&P 500 jumped 1.09% and the NASDAQ 1.72%. We are seeing an increase in day to day volatility and random movement based on headlines so it remains a time to be cautious until we settle into a new pattern.
Stocks continued recent weakness Monday as the S&P 500 fell 1.08% and the NASDAQ 1.16%. This pushed the S&P 500 into the red for the year. Things looked much brighter a week ago at this time but please note how we highlighted a weird situation where the utility stocks (which are safety stocks) were rallying at the same time as some high growth areas such as industrials and technology.
Friday was a reversal of fortune session. A solid jobs report initially had people pleased, but biotech / momentum stock selling led to selling that did not relent. Indexes finished near sessions lows as the NASDAQ continues to be the weak sister, down a whopping 2.6% to the S&P 500's 1.25% drop. If you want an interesting stat, this is the first jobs report Friday the market has been down in a year.
Indexes sold off a bit Thursday after a four day rally, ahead of Friday's labor data from the government. The S&P 500 fell 0.11% and the NASDAQ 0.91% as weak biotech stocks hit again. They key economic report of the day was the Institute for Supply Management's service sector index rising to 53.1 in March, slightly below expectations for a reading of 53.5 but ahead of the February read of 51.6. This continued the "slowdown in economic data past few months was weather related" theme. Overseas, the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the central bank discussed a series of unconventional policy measures, including quantitative easing, at its latest policy meeting.