Five Week Stock Market Rally Ended on March 24, 2016

five week stock market rally ended March 24, 2016

The five week stock market rally ended March 24, 2016, as floundering oil prices and uncertainty over possible future interest rate increases have caused the markets to stall. While several sectors are struggling, some analysts remain optimistic.  See this week’s stock market closing numbers and how things have changed since Jan. 1. Learn more about the issues affecting investors as we approach the end of the first quarter, 2016.    geralt / Pixabay

Status of the Stock Market on March 24, 2016

Dow Jones Industrial Averages:

End of 2015:  17,425.03

March 24, 2016: 17,515.73  (+90.7  or  0.52 percent improvement this year)

52 Week High:  18,351.40  (-835.67 which is -4.55 percent below 2015 high)

S & P 500:

End of 2015:   2,043.94

March 24, 2016:  2,035.94  (-8.00 or -0.39 percent change this year)

52 Week High:  2,134.72  (-98.78 which is -4.63 percent below its 2015 high)

NASDAQ:

End of 2015:  5,007.41

March 24:  4,773.51  ( -233.90 or -4.67 percent change this year)

52 Week High:  5,231.94  (-458.43 which is -8.76 percent below its 2015 high)

Current Status of the Stock Market

In last week’s article from March 18, 2016 on Factors Causing the Stock Market Rebound, the Dow closed last week out at 17,602.30; the S&P 500 ended the week at 2,049.58; the Nasdaq closed at 4,795.65.  That was the end of five weeks of rising equity prices.  As investors can see, all three indices fell this week.

Although the Dow is still up for the year, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are down for the year.  Even the Dow is up less than 100 points, so things could change rapidly.

Factors Contributing to the Slowdown in the Stock Market

  • Oil continues to linger below $40 a barrel, while OPEC has not yet committed to a production freeze, which would help stabilize oil prices.  The energy sector has seen massive layoffs and fewer active gas and oil drilling rigs.  In fact, the number of active exploration rigs is at the lowest count since they began keeping track in 1949.
  • The Federal Reserve has hinted that it could raise interest rates at least twice this year. One of those increases could be as early as this spring, which is sooner than many analysts expected.
  • Retailers continue to struggle and a number of major retailers have been downgraded by analysts.
  • Biotech has been slammed for the past year.
  • Despite the fact that the Dow is up slightly for 2016, the trend has been down over the past year:
  • Investors are also concerned that the biggest stock buyers this year have often been corporate buybacks.  The last time this occurred in massive numbers was just before the 2007 recession:
  • On the other hand, not all the news has been bad.  It is not unusual, for example, for the S&P to spend part of the year in the red.  In addition, the Fed will only raise interest rates if they feel optimistic about how the economy is doing.  The chart shows that it pays to be patient if you are an investor.

Economic Reports in April

  • April 1 – Employment Situation for March 2016
  • April 5 – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for Feb. 2016
  • April 8 – America’s Young Adults at 29: Labor Market Activity, Education, and Household Composition
  • April 14 – Consumer Price Index for March 2016
  • April 22 – Employment Characteristics of Families Annual 2015 report
  • April 28 – College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates Annual 2015 report
  • April 29 – Employment Cost Index First Quarter 2016

Resources:

http://www.bls.gov/schedule/news_release/201604_sched.htm

http://www.breakingnews.com/ and yahoo.com/finance

Charts and statistics from: https://twitter.com/StockTwits and CNNMoney


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