Rising bond yields and improving economic conditions led to a choppy week of trading that ended in modest losses for investors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.46%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 0.77%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 0.79% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 1.24%.1,2,3
The stock market began the week on a positive note, rising on optimism over the economic reopenings and a decline in bond yields. Technology shares staged a strong turnaround from the previous week.
Following the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting announcement reaffirming the Fed's easy-money policies, the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 recorded new record closing highs.4
Markets reversed themselves on Thursday as a surge in yields sent technology and other high-growth stocks lower. During the session, the 10-year Treasury yield moved above 1.75% (the highest in 14 months), and the 30-year Treasury breached 2.5% for the first time since August 2019.5
Stocks closed out the week mixed as technology reclaimed some of the previous day's losses.
The Fed Stands Pat
The Fed restated its commitment to no interest rate hikes through 2023. As expected, the FOMC also voted to continue its monthly bond purchases of at least $120 billion.
FOMC members projected that the economy would grow 6.5% this year, a sharp improvement over its previous estimate of a 4.2% gain. The forecast for the unemployment rate by year-end is 4.5%, down from the current rate of 6.2%. While Fed Chair Powell said that he anticipates inflation rising this year, he expects price increases to be temporary, with inflation staying within the Fed’s 2% target for the next several years.6
This Week: Key Economic Data
Monday: Existing Home Sales.
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: Adobe, Inc. (ADBE), Gamestop Corporation (GME).
IRS Offers Free Tax Prep Option for Military Personnel
Each year, the Internal Revenue Service takes a moment to remind active duty military personnel that the "IRS Free File" offers them multiple choices for free federal tax preparation.
"The IRS takes special steps to help military members and their families with their taxes, and the Free File program is part of that effort," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Almost 10% of the IRS workforce are veterans. We greatly appreciate the service to the nation of every veteran and their supportive families, and we will do all we can to assist them."
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov7
I have no heart or mind, but I do have two legs. Yet they only touch the ground when I am not carrying things around. What am I?
Last week’s riddle: Where does today come before yesterday? Answer: In the dictionary.
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2021
4. CNBC, March 17, 2021
5. CNBC, March 18, 2021
6. CNBC, March 17, 2021
7. IRS.gov, January 21, 2020
8. SilverSneakers.com, March 12, 2018
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Weekly Market Insights: Modest Losses After Choppy Week
March 23, 2021