Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer



WEEKLY SUMMARY: A strong end of Q1 for stocks 

The major equity indexes advanced over the shortened trading week to end a quarter of strong gains. The S&P 500 Index recorded new closing and intraday highs to end the week. The market’s advance was notably broad, with an equal-weighted version of the S&P 500 Index gaining 1.64%, well ahead of the 0.39% increase in the S&P 500. Small-caps also easily outperformed large-caps. market activity was generally subdued ahead of the holiday weekend. US economic data were mixed. Durable goods orders ex- defense & aircraft rose a solid 0.7%, much more than anticipated. New home sales fell unexpectedly in February. Consumer confidence declined slightly in March, defying consensus expectations for an increase. But University of Michigan’s rival gauge of consumer sentiment was revised upward to its highest level in 21 months, thanks in part to waning inflation fears. U.S. Treasuries generated positive returns for the week as new issuance was easily absorbed. Most European stock markets advanced (+0.59% for the STOXX Europe 600 Index). Japan’s stock markets fell as investors focused on the sharply depreciating yen, which hovered near JPY 152 against the U.S. Dollar, a level considered as one that could trigger intervention. Chinese stocks declined for the week as concerns about the continuing property sector downturn weighed on investor confidence. Oil gained nearly 3% over the week and is now up nearly 16% year-to date. Gold hit a new all-time-high, breaking the $2,200 resistance.



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