Weekly market wrap March 29, 2018: Stock indices gain on the week, but lose on the month
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By Fund Library News Wire  | Thursday, March 29, 2018


 

By Mike Keerma

The major North American stock market indices rallied on Friday, the last day of the month and the quarter, boosting weekly returns into positive territory. The S&P 500 Composite Index posted a strong 2.0% weekly return with the help of investment managers’ “window dressing” portfolios to goose quarterly return numbers. Even the tech-weighted Nasdaq Composite Index, which had seen a steady slide through March arising from security and privacy concerns at social media giant Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), gained 1.0% on the week. The S&P 500 Composite Index doubled that gain, advancing 2.0% on the week. And Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index benefitted from a rally in energy and materials stocks, rallying 1.0% on the week. Both crude oil and gold posted weekly losses, but remained ahead for both the month and the year to date.

The Nasdaq Composite remained down 2.9% for the month, as tech bellwether Facebook came under fire for allowing U.K.-based data mining company Cambridge Analytica access to data from 50 million targeted Facebook users during the last U.S. presidential election. The company has lost over $100 billion in market value and is no longer among the top five most valuable companies in the world. Still, the Nasdaq index managed to post its seventh consecutive quarterly gain, with a 2.3% advance in the first three months of the year.

The S&P 500 Composite likewise posted a 2.7% loss in March, for a year-to-date retreat of 1.2%.

The S&P/TSX Composite remained just a hair under water in March, with a 0.5% loss in the month, but posted a significant 5.2% year-to-date loss, despite a 7.5% quarterly advance for crude oil.

Despite the rise of geopolitical tensions in the first few months of the year, including trade tensions fomented by U.S. President Donald Trump, renewed Russian thuggery abroad with the assassination of a former spy in the U.K., and the resurgence of volatility in stock markets, gold remained subdued with only a 2.3% gain in the quarter.

FUND NEWS

* Dynamic and BlackRock team up with a new bond ETF. Dynamic Funds and BlackRock Asset Management debuted their Dynamic iShares Active Investment Grade Floating Rate ETF (TSX: DXV), which aims for a floating rate of interest income and capital preservation. It invests primarily in Canadian investment-grade corporate bonds and uses interest rate derivatives that seek to mitigate the effects of interest rate fluctuations. The ETF will provide exposure to an active investment strategy managed by Marc-André Gaudreau.

* Harvest debuts banks ’n’ buildings ETF. Harvest Portfolios Group announced its new Harvest Banks & Buildings Leaders Income ETF (TSX: HCBB) commenced trading Friday. The ETF aims to generate monthly income and maximize total returns by investing in a portfolio of North American exchange-listed banking, financial, and real estate companies. The fund is managed by a team led by Paul Macdonald and James Learmonth.

* First Asset terminates two ETFs and one mutual fund. First Asset Investment Management Inc. announced that on or about June 11, it’s shutting down its First Asset U.S. Equity Multi-Factor Index ETF (TSX: FUM), with $2.4 million in assets, and the First Asset Canadian Dividend Low Volatility Index ETF (TSX: FDL), with $2.0 million in assets. The company also announced that on June 8 it will terminate its First Asset Global Dividend Fund, with $7.8 million in assets.

Check Fund Library’s Market Activity page regularly for active updates on key market indexes and commodities.

@FundLibrary – Follow Fund Library on Twitter for daily information and updates.

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The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice.

   
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