While last week was difficult for investors, it did end off on a positive note. The market closed higher, yet off the peak of the session. True to form, the markets did rise on the penultimate trading day of the month. After the markets closed, an apparent phone call took place between Presidents Putin and Obama. The message received from the markets is that perhaps there is some form of diplomatic solution that might be in the works with respect to the situation in Ukraine. Index futures responded positively last evening and into today’s pre-market. With the weather beginning to improve, the only wall of worry that we continue to scale appears to be that of Ukraine.
Struggling Indexes Seek to Close Quarter in Green
As we enter the final trading day of the first quarter and month of March, the markets are struggling to post a profit for the first quarter. As of Friday, for the quarter, the S&P 500 (SPX) is up 0.49%, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJIA) is off 1.53%, the NASDAQ 100 declined 0.57% and the Russell 2000 had slipped 1.02%.
While futures indicate a positive open, remember that early Monday advances tend to get faded and anything can happen on the last day of the month. As we look later into the week, the March jobs report will be on investors’ minds. That report is schedule to be released on Friday and will be previewed by the Automatic Data Processing (ADP) report on Wednesday.
Biotechs Get Boost From FDA
Biogen Idec (BIIB) is set to pop today as the company received FDA approval for Alprolix, a treatment for hemophilia. This might provide well needed support for the biotech sector and in particular, the related exchange traded fund, iShares NASDAQ Biotech (IBB).
Tomorrow I am going to sum up the quarter and give my thoughts about the second quarter. I would like to turn the tables and give my readers an opportunity to ask some questions. So please email me your queries related to the markets or economy at email@example.com and I will compile the questions and answers for publication next week.
Disclosure: At the time of this commentary Scott Rothbort, his family and/or clients of LakeView AssetManagement, LLC was long IBB and UWM — although positions can change at any time.
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