The Markets (as of market close March 3, 2023)
A late rally sent stocks higher by the end of last week. Each of the major benchmark indexes gained nearly 2.0%, with the Nasdaq climbing 2.6% to lead the way. The large caps of the Dow and S&P 500 also rallied at the end of the week and are above their respective 2022 year-end values. Ten-year Treasury yields inched higher, despite bond prices staging a late-week price increase. The dollar index dipped below 105, while gold prices enjoyed their first weekly advance, following four consecutive weekly declines. Crude oil prices closed up by more than 4.0%, erasing losses earlier in the week.
Eye on the Week Ahead
The employment figures for February are available at the end of this week. The labor sector continues to run hotter than expected, with over 500,000 new jobs added in January. The unemployment rate remains steady, while the number of unemployed persons hasn’t changed dramatically in several months, indicating that employment is probably nowhere near full capacity. A strong labor report will support further interest-rate hikes from the Federal Reserve as it tries to curb inflation.
Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI, Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e., wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Forecasts are based on current conditions, subject to change, and may not come to pass. U.S. Treasury securities are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. The principal value of Treasury securities and other bonds fluctuates with market conditions. Bonds are subject to inflation, interest-rate, and credit risks. As interest rates rise, bond prices typically fall. A bond sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 largest, publicly traded companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. The U.S. Dollar Index is a geometrically weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to six foreign currencies. Market indexes listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.