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  • Scott Poore, AIF, AWMA, APMA

Markets Continue March Higher With Strong Economic Backdrop

Equities again made new highs last week, but the leadership was different.

Tech stocks took a back seat to other sectors, such as Healthcare and Energy. Large caps also stepped aside as Small caps and Mid-caps led the market higher. The market continues to price in a June rate cut by the Fed, but Chairman Powell's comments on Good Friday indicated a "balanced" approach by the Fed. Powell stated the Fed did no "overreact" to last year's data and would seek not to overreact to the first few months of data so far in 2024. Meanwhile, the Fed's favorite measure of inflation, the PCE Price Index, was lower than expected on a month-over-month basis and flat year-over-year.

The U.S. consumer is alive and well according to Personal Spending data released on Good Friday.

Spending increased 0.8% last month, which was higher than expected and 4 times higher than the previous month. The death of the consumer appears vastly over-stated as consumer foreclosures and bankruptcies, while just slightly higher, are no where near the levels of the 1st quarter of 2007. Housing data continues to improve as Pending Home Sales recovered nicely in February and the weakness seems to have bottomed. The emergence of other sectors and asset classes within equities moving higher continues to point to a broadening of the market. Nearly three-fourths of S&P 500 stocks are within 10% of their 52-week highs. More than half the index is within 5% of their respective 52-week highs. As long as leadership continues to rotate within equities, markets may remain higher for longer.



The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The opinions expressed are those of the author, are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. The decision to review or consider the purchase or sell of any security should not be undertaken without consideration of your personal financial information, investment objectives and risk tolerance with your financial professional.

Forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

Any market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

Past Performance does not guarantee future results.


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