Friday, April 9, 2021
Was the first quarter the sweet spot for returns?
The S&P 500 Index rose 5.8% in the first quarter, and historically this has been in the “Goldilocks” range of returns that isn’t too hot, but isn’t too cold for the rest of the year. We take a closer look at first quarter returns and what they could mean for the remainder of the year in today’s LPL Research blog, available at 12p.m. ET.
U.S. stocks open little changed to finish a week largely devoid of directional drivers
- European markets are mixed in midday trading while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index is on pace for a sixth straight week of gains.
- Asian stocks finished mostly lower overnight as Chinese inflation rose more than expected.
Technology shares led all sectors on Thursday, gaining 1.4% and pushing The Nasdaq Composite to a more than 1% gain. This marks the fourth gain of more than 1% for the Nasdaq in the past six days. The S&P 500 is up more than 10% from its March 4 intraday lows, but is now approaching resistance near 4136. Sentiment has become more of a risk as well, with the American Association of Individual Investor (AAII) Sentiment Survey indicating a bull-bear spread at its highest level since January 2018.
The United States reported 81,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday as cases continue to creep higher, with northern states continuing to manage hot spots (source: New York Times).
- Case growth is roughly in line with the rate seen at the end of February, as the more infectious B117 variant continues to make up a large portion of new cases.
- Vaccinations in the U.S. have averaged around 3 million per day, with roughly one-third of the total population receiving at least one dose.
- The pace of vaccinations has doubled in Germany, which has helped the country play catch-up after a slow roll-out of their vaccination program.
LPL Research in the Media
Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder was quoted in ABC News article about technology stock performance.
LPL Research revises previous forecasts to better reflect the growing optimism of an economy on the rebound. Learn more in this week’s Weekly Market Commentary.
Raising Economic And Market Forecasts…Again
On the LPL Market Signals podcast, Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder and Asset Allocation Strategist Barry Gilbert update forecasts based on how the economy’s recovery from the pandemic, aided by vaccine distribution, massive stimulus, and the desire to return to normal, continues to surpass expectations.
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