Markets “In a Nutshell” for March 29, 2021
Investment Week at a Glance
Stocks finished mixed for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.36%, the S&P 500 rose 1.57%, the New York Stock Exchange Composite (2,000 stocks) rose 0.77% and the average investors index (Value Line Index) was down 0.56%. Foreign stocks (DJ Global ex U.S.) were down 1.19%. Bond prices were higher for the week, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury ending the week 7 basis points lower at 1.67%. (Data source: Wall Street Journal)
Stocks Struggle to Find Direction
Stocks began the week with plenty of positive momentum as the 10-year Treasury yield has begun to stabilize at its current level and has lessened the pressure on stocks that are dependent on lower interest rates, such as most technology stocks. Negative developments in Europe regarding further COVID-19 outbreaks, along with a shipping container in the Suez Canal completely blocking one of the busiest trade routes in the world took out the optimism in markets in the middle of the week and threatened to force the market into a spiraling downturn. Stocks, especially in the U.S., were saved late in the week as initial and continuing unemployment claims fell to a pandemic era low, signaling that although the pandemic is not over yet globally, the U.S. is getting much closer to a surging economic recovery. (Barron’s)
Jobs Report This Week
Following up a much better than expected unemployment claims report last week will be the full jobs report for the month of March that will be released this Friday. The report is expected to show an increase of 525,000 jobs nationwide, following a rise of 379,000 in February, and a decrease in the unemployment rate from 6.2 to 6%. While a blowout positive report isn’t necessarily being projected, a strong showing of continued progress is certainly expected by the market and any disappointment may cause some volatility in financial markets. With many of the largest states rolling back some of their pandemic restrictions in the past two months, it’s of utmost importance for the economy to recover as quickly as possible to reduce the chances of another spike in unemployment claims and further the economic scarring. (Barron’s)
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How much have gas prices in the US risen since a year ago in March 2020? (Scroll Down for Answer)
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2. Gas prices have risen 30% since March 2020, rising up to $2.88 a gallon nationwide last week. (Barron’s).