Closing: Market overcomes a shaky start

The S&P 500 gained 0.7% on Monday, as positive momentum and a hopeful-sounding geopolitical headline helped outweigh growth concerns. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.3% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%. The small-cap Russell 2000 (unch) finished flat.

Eight of the 11 S&P 500 sectors closed higher, led by the consumer discretionary (+2.7%), information technology (+1.2%), and real estate (+1.3%) sectors. The energy (-2.6%), materials (-0.5%), and financials (-0.3%) sectors closed lower.

Early on, the market was slowed down by growth concerns attributed to Shanghai announcing a two-phase Covid lockdown, The Nikkei reporting that Apple ( AAPL 175.60, +0.88, +0.5%) plans to cut production of the iPhone SE and AirPods, the White House proposing tax increases in the FY23 budget, and the prolonged Russia-Ukraine situation.

The latter showed some progress in the afternoon after the Financial Times reported that Russia is prepared to allow Ukraine to join the EU as part of ceasefire talks as long as it doesn’t join NATO. That report appeared to catalyze a late-session push, further supported by quarter-end rebalancing within the Nasdaq.

While equities reacted positively, the growth concerns didn’t necessarily go away. The cyclical sectors (except for the consumer discretionary sector) still underperformed, WTI crude futures still fell 6.5%, or $7.36, to $106.47/bbl, and the Treasury yield curve still flattened.

The 2-yr yield rose five basis points to 2.34%, while the 10-yr yield decreased two basis points to 2.48%. On a related note, the $50 bln 2-yr note auction saw weak demand while the $51 bln 5-yr note auction was met with solid demand.

The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.4% to 99.14 amid relative weakness in the British pound (-0.7%) and Japanese yen (-1.5%). The yen fell after the Bank of Japan offered to buy an unlimited amount of JGBs at 0.25% as part of its policy to control the yield curve.

Separately, shares of Tesla ( TSLA 1091.84, +81.20, +8.0%) jumped 8% after the company said it will ask shareholders to vote at this year’s annual meeting to authorize additional shares for a stock split.

Reviewing Monday’s economic data:

  • The Advance report for International Trade in Goods for February showed a deficit of $106.6 billion, versus an unrevised $107.6 billion in January. The Advance report for Retail Inventories for February rose 1.1%, while the Advance report for Wholesale Inventories for February rose 2.1%.

Looking ahead, investors will receive the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index for March, the JOLTS - Job Openings report for February, the FHFA Housing Price Index for January, and the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for February on Tuesday.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -3.8% YTD
  • S&P 500 -4.0% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -7.5% YTD
  • Nasdaq Composite -8.3% YTD


  • Europe: DAX +0.8%, FTSE -0.1%, CAC +0.5%
  • Asia: Nikkei -0.7%, Hang Seng +1.3%, Shanghai +0.1%


  • Crude Oil -7.36 @ 106.47
  • Nat Gas -0.05 @ 5.55
  • Gold -20.70 @ 1932.20
  • Silver -0.47 @ 25.08
  • Copper +0.03 @ 4.72