March 11 – March 15 Week in Review

The U.S. equity markets moved higher last week supported by continued dovish talk from the Federal Reserve, persistently low U.S. interest rates, and a weakening U.S. dollar. The S&P 500 gained 2.89% to close at its highest level since Oct. 10th, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.57%, the Nasdaq Composite gained 3.78%, and the Russell 2000 gained 2.08%.

Video 03.18.2019

10 of the 11 S&P 500 sectors finished notably higher led by information technology, up 4.9% on the week. The industrials sector underperformed with a gain of only 0.3%.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell set the tone for the week after he reiterated the Fed's patient stance in an interview with 60 Minutes. Although not "new" news for the market, reassurance from the Fed, along with talk of policy support in China, helped soothe fears about slowing global growth.

Soft economic data throughout the week contributed to the belief the Fed will stay put, which helped keep U.S. Treasury yields at persistently low levels. The 2 year yield remained unchanged at 2.44%, and the 10 year yield declined four basis points to 2.59% both near their lows for the year. The lower rates, along with a patient Fed, remained a supportive consideration for risk assets like stocks.

Positive analyst coverage on Apple contributed to the stock's 7.6% gain last week. Separately, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, which was aided by Broadcom's call that the industry will hit bottom in the second quarter, jumped 5.6%. Many of its components also helped contribute to the outperformance of the tech sector and the Nasdaq overall.

In other corporate news, Boeing and Facebook were under pressure last week amid some company-specific issues. Boeing was hit with a round of selling when a second 737 Max-8 aircraft crashed in Ethiopia. Shares of Boeing fell 10.3% for the week, weighing heavily on the Dow and S&P 500 industrials sector. Facebook came under pressure when first the NY Times reported the company is under criminal investigation for some of its data deals and then two key executives announced they were leaving the company.

In European news UK Prime Minster May's plan for Brexit did not win approval in the British Parliament, yet Parliament did vote in favor of extending the Brexit deadline until June 30th at the latest. Lawmakers still need to agree on an alternate deal, and the delay still needs to be approved by all 27 member states of the European Union.

In other markets WTI crude ended 0.6% higher at $58.61 a barrel in Nymex trading on Friday as U.S. sanctions on both Venezuela and Iran begin to put a squeeze on global oil supplies. That is the highest closing level since Nov. 12th. The U.S. Dollar Index lost 0.8% to 96.56.

March 18 – March 22 Economic Calendar

  • Monday
  • Housing Market Index
    10:00 AM ET
  • Tuesday
  • Redbook
    8:55 AM ET
  • Factory Orders
    10:00 AM ET
  • Wednesday
  • MBA Mortgage Applications
    7:00 AM ET
  • EIA Petroleum Status Report
    10:30 AM ET
  • FOMC Meeting Announcement
    2:00 PM ET
  • FOMC Forecasts
    2:00 PM ET
  • Fed Chair Press Conference
    2:30 PM ET
  • Thursday
  • Jobless Claims
    8:30 AM ET
  • Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey
    8:30 AM ET
  • Leading Indicators
    10:00 AM ET
  • Quarterly Services Survey
    10:00 AM ET
  • EIA Natural Gas Report
    10:30 AM ET
  • Fed Balance Sheet
    4:30 PM ET
  • Money Supply
    4:30 PM ET
    • Friday
    • PMI Composite FLASH
      9:45 AM ET

       

       

    • Existing Home Sales
      10:00 AM ET
    • Wholesale Trade
      10:00 AM ET
    • Baker-Hughes Rig Count
      1:00 PM ET
    • Treasury Budget
      2:00 PM ET

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS. This commentary is a matter of opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investment advice and does not address or account for individual investor circumstances. Investment decisions should always be made based on the client's specific financial needs, goals and objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance. The statements contained herein are based solely upon the opinions of Telemus Capital, LLC. All opinions and views constitute our judgments as of the date of writing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Information was obtained from third party sources, which we believe to be reliable, but not guaranteed.

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