The Weekly Wrap: March 27, 2023
Week in Review
Stocks rebounded last week, rising more than 1%. The NASDAQ Composite continues to be the leader in 2023, up nearly 13% for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, remains in negative territory. Interest rates fell modestly, and the US Dollar had its largest weekly decline since January. Oil prices rose 3.8%, offsetting some of the prior week’s 13% drop. Gold slipped 0.6%, and Bitcoin rose 1.9%.
The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate for the ninth consecutive meeting last Wednesday. The 0.25% hike was smaller than what most analysts expected prior to the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, but turmoil in the financial sector was not enough to make the inflation-focused Fed keep rates unchanged. Notably, the FOMC statement, along with the quarterly Summary of Economic projections, implied that rate hikes will soon be in the rearview mirror. Markets are priced for more extreme reversal, including a series of rate cuts by year-end. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, however, reiterated at his post-meeting press conference that containing inflation was his top priority, and the Fed wouldn’t hesitate to reaccelerate the pace of policy tightening if needed.
Less than half of all S&P 500 stocks are in an uptrend, and that’s true whether you’re looking at them on short, intermediate, or long-term timeframes. Recent weakness has been most pronounced in cyclical sectors – Energy, Materials, Industrials, and Financials. Those sectors were the leaders in 2022. Now they’re the clear laggards.
Trends within the Information Technology sector are the healthiest. Nearly two-thirds of stocks in that sector are above their 100 and 200 day averages. And more than half are above short-term averages. Health Care, Consumer Staples, and Utilities all benefited from risk-off action within the last week.
Here’s the key economic data scheduled for this week.