Market Perspectives (April 2013)

by Jim Baird on April 16, 2013

Executive Summary

  • Domestic equities extended their rally in March, as the S&P 500 Index surpassed its pre-crisis high and posted a new record close on March 28. Most domestic stock indexes achieved double-digit gains during the quarter, while international equities lagged the U.S. market.
  • Traditional high-quality bonds were flat again in March and have provided limited returns year-to-date. The Treasury yield curve remains range-bound, ending the quarter virtually unchanged from December 31.
  • The FOMC again held monetary policy steady at their March meeting, citing the elevated unemployment rate and inflation still below its long-run objective.
  • Surging gas prices pushed the Consumer Price Index higher in February, although core inflation remains tame. 
  • The jobs market lost a bit of steam in March, despite a downtick in the unemployment rate to 7.6%. Initial jobless claims edged higher and nonfarm payrolls fell short of expectations, dampening recent enthusiasm about better results.

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