April 5, 2021

Week In Perspective: S&P 500 tops the 4000 level in shortened trading week [01-Apr-21]

A weekly recap of market activity and events, featuring commentary, analysis written with individual investors in mind.
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The S&P 500 (+1.1%) reached a new milestone this week by topping the 4000 for the first time, although the Nasdaq Composite was the outright winner with a 2.6% gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.2%) also set an all-time high, but it barely ended the week higher, while the Russell 2000 rose 1.5%.

The week started on a cautious note after Credit Suisse (CS) and Nomura (NMR) warned of potential substantial losses after one of their clients, reportedly Archegos Capital Management, defaulted on margin calls and was forced to sell more than $20 billion in stock in the prior week.

Contagion effects were dismissed by strategists, though, and several U.S. banks with Archegos exposure said their losses were immaterial. The rest of the week saw a return of the heavily-weighted growth stocks, thanks to quarter-end rebalancing/first-of-the month inflows, a retracement in long-term interest rates, and positive-minded analyst recommendations.

The influential information technology (+2.1%), consumer discretionary (+2.2%), and communication services (+3.4%) sectors advanced the most this week with gains over 2.0%. Conversely, the energy (-0.4%), materials (-0.3%), health care (-0.6%), and consumer staples (-0.8%) sectors closed lower.  

Cyclical stocks underperformed despite the ISM Manufacturing Index for March rising to 64.7% ( consensus 61.2%) from 60.8% in February and the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index jumping to 109.7 in March ( consensus 97.0) from 90.4 in February.

Separately, President Biden unveiled a $2.3 infrastructure spending plan on Wednesday that included increases in corporate taxes to help finance the spending. In addition, the White House press secretary said that the administration will seek another stimulus bill after passing the infrastructure plan.

The 10-yr yield increased two basis points to 1.68%, although it was flirting with 1.78% early in the week. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.2% to 92.90.