Stocks rally into strong quarter end

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Stocks climbed higher on Friday to end the quarter with a bang after the market got a boost after the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge showed a cooler-than-expected increase in prices.

The core Personal Consumption Expenditures index, which excludes energy and food costs, rose 0.3 per cent in February, less than the 0.4 per cent expected by economists polled by Dow Jones.

On Friday, the S&P 500 added 1.44 per cent to close at 4,109.31, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.74 per cent to end at 12,221.91. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 415.12 points, or 1.26 per cent, closing at 33,274.15.

For the quarter the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up 7.03 per cent and 16.77 per cent, respectively, It was the best quarter since 2020 for the tech-heavy Nasdaq. The Dow ended the period with a just 0.38 per cent increase.

Tech stocks were the big winner this month as investors rotated out of financials. The Technology Select SPDR ETF added roughly 10 per cent in March. Semiconductors, which have come to be viewed as an important bellwether for global growth, delivered a strong performance

Wall Street rewarded tech companies’ layoffs and other cost cutting measures, giving tech stocks a resurgence. And with ChatGPT becoming a household name, investors have their money on generative AI as the next big bet.

Nvidia shares have been on a tear this year, up a whopping 87.4 per cent as investors make a bet on its artificial intelligence capabilities.

Bank stocks were a delight for short sellers who made $2 billion betting against the sector in the past three months. Smaller institutions were most badly injured by the bank panic: The SPRD S&P Regional Banking ETF, which consists of non-behemoth banks, had more than a quarter of its value wiped out in Q1

It's been a brutal quarter for dealmaking. Bankers and lawyers began the year with modest expectations for M.&A. Rising interest rates, concerns about the economy and costly financing had undercut what had been a booming market for deals.

But the first three months of 2023 proved to be even more difficult than most would have guessed, About 11,366 deals worth $550.5 billion were announced in the quarter,according to data from Refinitiv. That’s a 22 percent drop in the number of transactions — and a 45 percent plunge by value.

Overall, Across the S&P500 sectors, Consumer Discretionary was the standout, whilst Energy was the biggest laggard. 


The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.6 per cent gain.


One Australian dollar at 7:20 AM is buying 66.87 US cents..


Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.6 per cent loss.

Gold lost 0.6 per cent. Silver added 0.7 per cent. Copper rose 0.1 per cent and oil gained 1.8 per cent.

Figures around the globe

Across the Atlantic, European markets closed higher. London’s FTSE added 0.2 per cent, Frankfurt rose 0.7 per cent while Paris closed 0.8 per cent higher.

In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.5 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.4 per cent higher.

On Friday, the Australian sharemarket closed 0.8 per cent higher at 7178.


NB Global Corporate Income Trust (ASX:NBI) is paying 1.2179 cents unfranked
Partners Group Global (ASX:PGG) is paying 1.2572 cents unfranked
WAM Strategic Value (ASX:WAR) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked

Dividends payable

Insignia Financial (ASX:IFL)
K&S Corp (ASX:KSC)
NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF)
Propel Funeral Partners (ASX:PFP)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.


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Source: Finance News Network