I know there are a lot of concerns out there from Greece and its debt dramas to double dip talk in the US to the share spooking sinking of a South Korean ship but let’s focus on the positive. Here’s Switzer’s Share Scoreboard, which tracks the big market movers that could have a big impact on the wealth goals we kick this week and beyond.
These are the big plays that grabbed me:
- Stocks on Wall Street rose for a fourth straight week.
- In the US, the Dow is up around 4.05 per cent for the year, the Nasdaq 5.55 per cent, the S&P 500 4.6 per cent and the Russell 2000, which is small cap-focused and up a whopping 8.57 per cent.
- Meanwhile, the fear index remains in confident territory of 17.8 — a low number means investors are not jumpy. At the height of the GFC it went over 80!
- A good sign was that consumer discretionary stocks, which includes expensive consumer goods, have done well lately on Wall Street.
- And financials have been resisting gravity and naysayers who predicted a bank sell off.
- The market liked the ECB — the central bank for the EU — saying the Greek rescue plan was workable. This helped the euro and commodity prices.
- On the economic front, the Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment was better than expected at 73.6 in the final March reading.
- The final reading on fourth-quarter GDP came in at 5.6-per cent annual rate, which was down a tad, but get this, corporate profits were up 31 per cent on a year on year basis, and that’s the biggest increase since 1984.
- One final point, if there’s not a strong market conviction to buy at the moment, at the end of a quarter, there can be a fair bit of squaring up and profit locking in that can hold back market momentum.
Locally, it was a quiet week.
- In terms of sectors healthcare was up 2.8 per cent for the week, followed by financials at 1.3 per cent and consumer discretionary added 0.8 per cent.
- Our S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.5 per cent.
For the week ahead:
- In the USA, the March employment report numbers come out on Good Friday. Any number over 107,000 would be a market booster.
- Other indicators to watch next week include personal income and spending on Monday and the ISM index — which gauges demand from purchasing managers — and auto sales on Thursday.
And for us I will be keen to see:
- Retail, building approvals, private sector credit and home price figures all out on Wednesday.
But the big spotlight has to be on Wall Street and the US. After all, they started this money madness and mayhem, and it is up to them to fix it.
For advice you can trust, contact Switzer Financial Services.
Important information:This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
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