Market week: Stocks unsettled near end of Q1
S&P 500 leads, Nasdaq lags
Stock markets remained unsettled through the week as rising bond yields continued to drive a rotation from growth to value issues in equity markets and first-quarter fund rebalancing resulted in some volatility. Traders shook off reports of weaker U.S. consumer spending in February (down 1%) and lower personal income (7.1%) to boost the S&P 500 Composite Index to a 1.6% advance for the week. But the more growth-oriented, technology-weighted Nasdaq Composite Index dipped a marginal 0.6% on the week to close at just below breakeven. In addition, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for March rose to 84.9, its highest level in a year, suggesting a positive consumer response to the widespread U.S. vaccine rollout and the forthcoming federal stimulus. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index also drifted to just a hair below breakeven on the week, as two of the indexes mainstay sectors, energy and financials, remained flat on the week, while crude oil posted a weekly loss of 1%.
* BMO merges funds. BMO Investments Inc. announded on March 25 that it will be merging two funds, subject to approvals effective on or about June 25:
- BMO Floating Rate Income Fund merges into BMO U.S. High Yield Bond Fund.
- BMO Monthly Dividend Fund merges into BMO Dividend Fund.
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