March is coming in like a lion, both in weather and equity prices. Stocks continued their march to record highs this week as the Trump Bump remains intact. However, that climb higher came with a hefty dose of volatility: Both political and market events helped keep stocks in check on their rise this week.
Part of that check came from this week’s major data points. As the start of a new month, this past week brought plenty of economic metrics to traders. For the most part, the numbers have been favorable. However, a few key data points, such as housing and manufacturing, dropped lower, as did the overall gauge of economic health.
At the same time, corporate earnings have limped into the last few weeks of earnings season. On the whole, firms reporting this week showed plenty of weakness in the critical retail and consumer sectors.
In the end, traders chose to ignore the grim news and instead focus on optimism, which drove equity prices higher.