Dow 12,376 S&P500 1,332 Nasdaq 2,789 Gold 1,428 Oil 108
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Now, for the 15 reasons markets moved this week:
1) Consumers are still holding on. Although Oil (NYSE:USO) prices are starting to unnerve economists, today’s Department of Commerce data shows a consumer still operating according to the USA DNA. (See “The Number One Reason the US Consumer Will Be Back“) But with February’s data behind us, investors chose to sell shares of retailers Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
2) Telecom dialed into animal spirits. As analysts continue to digest the pros and cons of the landmark AT&T (NYSE:T) bid for T-Mobile, investors seem to think the sector is ripe for more power over the consumer. AT&T and Sprint (NYSE:S) popped 2% while Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) each jumped ~1.5%. Keep your eye on this sector as investors continue making long term bets. If you’re looking for similar ideas, These Well Priced Dividend Stocks with Profits Made Our Screen.
3) Oil and Gold (NYSE:GLD) got volatile. After Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser said the Fed should plan to raise rates to 2.5% over a year while reducing their balance sheet $1.45 trillion, a wave of gold (NYSE:GLD) bugs and silver (NYSE:SLV) lovers continued to take profits. Oil (NYSE:USO) also seemed to chop around as traders didn’t have a pure reason to push shares firmly one way or the other.
1) They defied the gravity of bad Housing and Consumer Confidence data. Today had everything needed to rationalize a selloff. First, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index was down again and Index Chairman David M. Blitzer said, “The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery.” Those words should’ve spooked investors — especially when Consumer Confidence came in weak on worries of higher inflation and lower wages. But hey, it’s spring break, dude!
2) Tech had some bright spots. Telecom continues to attract traders and long term investors as AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) are still running nearly twice their average trading volume. All this comes at the expense of Sprint (NYSE:S) which saw shares get dropped over 3% today. Cloud computing news helped puff up Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) while Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), and Cisco also lead the Nasdaq (NASDAQ:QQQ) higher. Don’t Miss: The Huge Problem with Cloud Computing.
3) Oil Service companies (NYSE:OIH) continued yesterday’s rally. The Middle Eastern war trade is coming back in vogue as Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) are entering portfolios. The drillers followed suit today with gains for Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:RDC), Pride International, Inc. (NYSE:PDE), and Transocean (NYSE:RIG).
1) Private Payrolls kept investors happy until Friday. If it’s all about reducing the unemployment rate, today’s ADP number says we added 201,000 new private jobs to the economy. That’s reasonable news until we get the BLS unemployment number on Friday.
2) Vehicles drove the markets. After shares of Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM) and Honda Motor (NYSE:HMC) got smashed at the start of the disaster in Japan (NYSE:EWJ), the companies popped 1.5% and 1.9% today, respectively. Truck maker PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ:PCAR) drove higher to the tune of 3.1%. Carmakers General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM) also had great days. If you prefer bikes, Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) revved higher 2.25%. The lone laggard was Ford (NYSE:F) with a relatively measly increase of .13%
3) Basic Materials (NYSE:XLB) inflated. Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW) followed Silver (NYSE:SLV) higher, while Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) was led by Gold (NYSE:GLD). Mining giants BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) also dug out gains of 1.75% and 2%, respectively. If you blame the Federal Reserve for inflation, read how This Fed Governor ADMITS the Federal Reserve is Anti-Capitalistic.
1) Money managers closed their books for the quarter. In fact, seems like most are already on spring break or enjoying opening day of Major League Baseball. Check out which 10 stocks had the best performance in the S&P 500 this quarter.
2) Commodities (NYSE:RJA) popped. If you travel or eat, today was miserable. Oil (NYSE:USO) hit new highs over $106 on continued battle in the Middle East. The USDA issued their Prospective Plantings report and missed expectations for higher supplies. The oil news hurt shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), while the food price news was great for Deere (NYSE:DE), Potash (NYSE:POT), and Agrium (NYSE:AGU). Don’t Miss: The Full USDA Prospective Plantings Report and Related Stocks.
3) A few technology (NASDAQ:QQQ) companies made hilarious headlines. The pot called the kettle black as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) decided to file an antitrust complaint against Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Google shareholders didn’t notice as the stock rose over 4% today. On the other hand, A Handful of NASDAQ Stocks Some Investors Are Fleeing Today.
1) People got jobs. Don’t over-think it. So long as the BLS Unemployment Data makes even marginal improvements, Wall Street will cheer. Think of it like the pitcher at bat: all he has to do is make contact. Now check out the Chart of the Day: Is Peak Unemployment is Behind Us?
2) The Boerses went to battle. The stakes are high for the future of global exchanges. Today, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (NYSE:ICE) submitted a joint $11.3 billion bid for NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX). Sucks for the current suitor Deutsche Boerse which is already offered NYX a measly $10 billion. Have no doubt: this is going to get Lao Tzu before it’s over. Maybe the CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) and CBOE (NASDAQ:CBOE) will get in on the action. Don’t feel left out. You can always afford these 6 Small Caps With Tremendous Value.
3) Did we say Oil (NYSE:USO)? Black gold marched past $108 a barrel as Libya is a mess and the BLS Unemployment number suggested the economy could strengthen demand for energy (NYSE:XLE). Oil companies followed higher: Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) +0.65%, BP (NYSE:BP) +3.4%, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) +0.77%, Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) +1.8%, and Petroleo Brasileiro (NYSE:PBR) +2.42%. Don’t Miss: The Top 10 Exchange Traded Funds for Your Oil Investing List.
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