- The S&P 500® was up 4.24% in March, bringing its YTD return to 5.77%.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average® gained 6.62% for the month and was up 7.76% YTD.
- The S&P MidCap 400® increased 4.53% for the month and 13.12% YTD.
- The S&P SmallCap 600® returned 3.19% in March and had a YTD return of 17.91%.
Finally, it was a month of trading without COVID dominating the market, although it did have impact. The market traded on fundamentals, as interpreted with a post-COVID view, which permitted five new closing highs and a flirt with 4K at the end of the month, as it set a new intraday high on the last trading day. Meanwhile, rumors, optimism, greed, and fear of losing out came back to the market—normality (at least as close to it as we can get). Housing news continued to be positive, but results were well short of estimates, as costs continued up and supply remained low, making it a seller’s market. Weekly Unemployment Claims returned closer to the pre-COVID level, breaking under 700,000 (in March 2020, it went from 282,000 to 3.3 million, reaching the weekly high of 6.9 million that month). The Fed maintained that it would continue to be accommodative—and no one doubted it, as it gave tentative approval to big banks for dividends and buyback increases post Q2 2021. Optimism ruled, and all you had to do to profit from it was to trade and not be the last one holding the issue (as streamed on Viacom and Discovery, and played on GameStop). Ah, market normality, heck of a way to make a living, but ain’t it great?