March Was a Fabulous Month For Stocks

Stocks posted nice gains during March after 6 down months in a row. It’s about time isn’t it? We have not had a 5%+ up month for the S&P 500 since December 2003…a streak of 62 months. We were well overdue for a positive month.

Here are the facts:
  • For March, the Nasdaq turned in a 10.9% gain – its best month since November 2002, when the last bear market bottomed.
  • The S&P 500 rose 8.5% in March, the best monthly gain since October 2002.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 7.7% in March, it’s strongest monthly gain since October 2002.
Normally, a month like this would be big news. But, I’m seeing very little written about it today. This is probably because:
  • stocks still ended the first quarter with a loss.
  • this is the sixth quarter in a row that stocks have ended with a loss.
  • the market hit a new 12-year low on March 9th.
  • investors still lack confidence and fear dominates the TV.

BUT, we just had the best month in more than six years! Perhaps this is the V-shaped recovery that Brian Wesbury forecasted. Check out this YTD chart for the Dow:

Here are even more stock market stats for the quarter and month for the data freaks (like me).
Now that we finally broke the six month streak of poor monthly performance for the market, let’s hope that the 2nd quarter will break the six quarter streak of poor quarterly performance:-)

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