John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended April 2nd
March by the numbers
March was the fourth positive month out of the past five for the S&P 500, which rose 4.2%. All 11 sectors posted positive results, led by energy’s 29.3% gain. For the first quarter, the S&P 500 added 5.8%; over the past 12 months, it gained 53.4%
Labor market recovery
Friday’s labor market report—released on a day when U.S. stock exchanges were closed—delivered two positive surprises. The U.S. economy generated 916,000 jobs in March—far exceeding expectations—and initial jobs gain estimates for January and February were revised upward by a total of 156,000.
All three major U.S. stock indexes finished in positive territory in a holiday-shortened trading week, with the NASDAQ outperforming the Dow by a wide margin in a reversal of recent trends. The NASDAQ finished nearly 3% higher, the S&P 500 was up more than 1%, and the Dow rose slightly.
Growth fights back
For the first time in eight weeks, U.S. large-cap growth stocks outperformed their value counterparts. Some of the biggest technology stocks had a strong week for a change, while stocks of companies more sensitive to cyclical economic changes lagged.