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Stocks finished the month of March in much of the same way they started it – mixed. Volatility reigned during the shortened week. Part of that volatility stemmed from the blow-up/heavy margin calls of Asian hedge funds. That put selling pressure on a variety of growth and tech names earlier in the week. Adding to that sell-off was the continued rise and fall in Treasury yields.
Infrastructure was also on the minds of traders this week as President Biden began unveiling his latest plans to boost the nation’s ailing infrastructure. Estimates for the total package size to rebuild America’s roads, bridges, communications and energy infrastructure have ranged between $1.5 and $3 trillion dollars. Democrats in the House and Senate have started to propose a fourth round of stimulus payments and job benefit extensions. Investors cheered the political news, but also were cautious on the effects of interest rates.
Despite the shortened week, data was heavy. Consumer and jobs data both pointed to robust reopening of the U.S. economy and that vaccine adoption was driving gains. Manufacturing data was also positive on the week.
As for earnings and corporate actions, the theme of the week was light. No real bellwethers reported and mergers & acquisitions activity was relatively nonexistent.
In the end, stocks finished the week mixed, showing slight gains for the month of March.
Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when technology shares moved the market.