The S&P 500 lost 0.04% in March. This was the first monthly decline since October, just missing the first five month win streak since March-July 2016. It was still a great first quarter as the S&P 500 jumped 5.5%; the best return since Q4 2015 and the best Q1 since 2013. For the quarter, technology and consumer discretionary led, while telecom and energy lagged. (LPL Research)
Over the past 20 years, no month sports a higher monthly S&P 500 average than April at 2.0%. Going back to 1950, the average monthly return is 1.5%, with only the historically strong months of November and December better. There are multiple potential market-moving events in April: the start of Q1 earnings season, elections in France, and a potential government shutdown. But for the long-term retail investor this will be nothing more than white noise. (LPL Research)
The manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 94th consecutive month. The index hit 57.2, a decrease from the February reading of 57.7. Of the 18 manufacturing industries included in the survey, 17 reported growth. (Institute for Supply Management)
February construction spending increased 0.8%. Its highest level since April 2006. (Commerce Department)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.