Stocks rally into the close
26-Mar-21 16:15 ET
Dow +453.40 at 33072.88, Nasdaq +161.05 at 13138.75, S&P +65.02 at 3974.54 https://www.briefing.com/stock-market-update
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 advanced 1.7% on Friday, thanks to a strong finish in the last hour of action. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.2% after briefly slipping lower in the afternoon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.4%) and Russell 2000 (+1.8%) also gained more than 1.0%.
The gains were relatively broad, with ten of the 11 S&P sectors closing higher and eight rising more than 1.5%. The energy (+2.6%), information technology (+2.5%), materials (+2.5%), and real estate (+2.5%) sectors gained more than 2.0%, while the communication services sector (-0.3%) was the lone holdout.
Several of the influential mega-caps like Tesla (TSLA 618.71, -21.68, -3.4%) struggled to get going all day, with some blaming a rebound in long-term interest rates for their underperformance. The 10-yr yield increased five basis points to 1.66% amid renewed selling interest. These stocks, however, did pare losses as the market rallied into the close.
Semiconductor stocks were a pocket of absolute strength today, evident by the 5.0% gain in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (+5.0%). They helped provide the boost in the technology sector, which started the day unchanged.
In the financials space, the Fed announced that the temporary and additional restrictions on bank dividends and share repurchases will end for most firms after June 30 following the completion of the current round of stress tests. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE 52.57, +0.98, +1.9%) increased 2%, further supported by the curve-steepening activity in the Treasury market.
The 2-yr yield increased one basis point to 0.14%. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.2% to 92.70. WTI crude futures rose 4.2%, or $2.47, to $60.99/bbl.
In corporate news, Nike (NKE 132.99, +4.35, +3.4%) was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, ViacomCBS (VIAC 48.23, -18.12, -27.3%) pulled back another 27% after Wells Fargo downgraded the stock to Underweight from Equal Weight, and WeWork plans to go public via a SPAC merger with BowX Acquisition Corp. (BOWX 11.71, +1.98, +20.3%) at a $9 billion valuation.
Reviewing Friday's economic data:
Personal income fell 7.1% in February (Briefing.com consensus -7.0%). Personal spending decreased 1.0% (Briefing.com consensus -0.6%). The PCE Price Index increased 0.2% (Briefing.com consensus 0.3%) while the Core PCE Price Index, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.1% (Briefing.com consensus 0.1%).
The key takeaway from the report is that spending decreased more than expected, indicating an inclination among consumers to continue saving. That said, the personal savings rate fell to 13.6% in February from 19.8% in January.
The final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey for March increased to 84.9 (Briefing.com consensus 83.6) from 83.0 in the preliminary reading. The final March reading puts the series at a one-year high.
The key takeaway from the report is that sentiment was boosted by another round of direct payments and a faster than expected vaccination distribution.
The Advance report for International Trade in Goods for February showed a deficit of $86.7 billion versus $83.7 billion in January. The Advance report for Retail Inventories for February was unchanged, while the Advance report for Wholesale Inventories for February increased 0.5%.
There is no economic data of note scheduled for Monday.
Russell 2000 +12.5% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average +8.1% YTD
S&P 500 +5.8% YTD
Nasdaq Composite +1.9% YTD
Crude future settle back above $60 per barrel
26-Mar-21 15:30 ET
Dow +203.88 at 32823.36, Nasdaq +24.69 at 13002.39, S&P +30.75 at 3940.27
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 is trading back near session highs with a 0.8% gain, while the Russell 2000 trades higher by 0.4%.
One last look at the sector performances shows energy (+1.8%), materials (+1.8%), real estate (+1.7%), and information technology (+1.5%) leading the advance with solid gains. Conversely, the communication services (-1.2%), utilities (-0.2%), and consumer discretionary (-0.1%) sectors still trade lower.
WTI crude futures settled higher by 4.2%, or $2.47, to $60.99/bbl.