The last few days of the first quarter were a microcosm of the first few months of 2015—wild, day-by-day volatility that ultimately resulted in stocks staying close to level. As the second quarter began on Wednesday, jobs reports and concerns over the upcoming earnings season swayed the market…
Monday the market started out well and was able to move just barely back into positive numbers for 2015. Investors looked towards data on sales of new homes, personal income, and consumer spending. By the end of the day, the Dow was up 263 points.
Tuesday the markets started lower, falling as much as 125 points in early trading off continued oil losses and the continued strengthening of the dollar. A stronger-than-expected consumer confidence numbers helped the market make up some of those losses mid-day, but a late-day selloff sent the Dow down exactly 200 points for the day. More importantly, the day’s results meant the Dow finished the 1st quarter in the negative.
Wednesday stocks continued to tumble after a disappointing private payrolls report. The private sector created just 189,000 jobs in March—the lowest monthly figure in almost two years. It was a disappointing start to the second quarter, as the S&P 500 retreated to even for the year. The Dow remained in the negative for 2015, as it lost 77 points for the day.
Thursday stocks moved back up on news of a better-than-expected international trade figure. Speculation over the coming earnings season continued to weigh on enthusiasm. For the day, the Dow was up 65 points.
While markets are closed for Good Friday, a woeful March employment report was released this morning. Most likely, Wall Street’s reaction to the results will be evident first thing Monday morning.