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The S&P 500 Index is on pace for one of its best first-quarter returns ever

The S&P 500 Index is on pace for one of its best first-quarter returns ever

| March 29, 2019

Market Update: Fri, Mar 29, 2019 | LPL Financial Research


Daily Insights

Big Q1. The S&P 500 Index is on pace for one of its best first-quarter returns ever, and history suggests more gains could follow. Going back to 1950, after rising at least 10% in the first quarter, the S&P 500 added to those gains over the balance of the year 9 out of 10 times. We will take a closer look at this interesting development today on the LPL Research blog.

Markets consolidate as volatility temporarily subsides. After acting as resistance for the better part of the last 6 months, the S&P 500 has consolidated in a tight range around the 2817 level. On the upside, this week’s less than 2% range is only about 5% from all-time highs, whereas on the downside the 200-day moving average may act as short-term tactical support near 2750. Markets are moving higher in early trading, and will look to close out this week with their tenth positive Friday in just 13 attempts this year. Be sure to check out our latest Weekly Market Commentary for a more in-depth look at the market technicals and fundamentals.

U.K. lawmakers scrambling at Brexit’s eleventh hour. After voting down Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal twice already, U.K. lawmakers are in the midst of a third, though not necessarily definitive, eleventh-hour vote on a watered-down version of the deal as the official March 31 deadline looms. Local reports suggest May is set for another defeat, though by a smaller margin than in the two previous tallies. Assuming the deal is rejected, on Monday officials plan to hold a fresh round of indicative votes, or mock votes, on several alternatives.

Core inflation disappoints. Core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 0.1% month over month in January, below consensus estimates for a 0.2% gain. Year-over-year growth in core PCE fell to 1.8%, its lowest level in 12 months and squarely below the Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) target of 2% growth for the measure. While year-over-year growth hasn’t dropped to a concerning level, it does reinforce the Fed’s patient policy stance.

Long-term rates slide, but 2/10 steepens. The 10-year Treasury yield is poised for its fourth straight weekly drop, and the benchmark rate is hovering at a 15-month low as investors’ rush into U.S. debt continues. However, a part of the curve we watch is steepening, even as long-term rates slide. The spread between the 2-year yield and the 10-year yield climbed to 16 basis points (bps) through yesterday. The 2-year yield, which reflects monetary policy more than economic expectations, declined to 2.24% through yesterday, hinting that short-term rates are now pricing in a Fed rate cut.


Click Here for our detailed Weekly Economic Calendar


  • Core PCE (MoM Jan)
  • New Home Sales (MoM Feb)
  • University of Michigan Sentiment Index (Mar)
  • Germany Unemployment Claims Rate (Mar)
  • UK GDP Report (Q4 2018)
  • Eurozone CPI Report (Mar)
  • Canada GDP Report (Jan)



The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. The economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted.

All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments.

All company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor, please note that LPL Financial LLC is not an affiliate of and makes no representation with respect to such entity.

The investment products sold through LPL Financial are not insured deposits and are not FDIC/NCUA insured.  These products are not Bank/Credit Union obligations and are not endorsed, recommended or guaranteed by any Bank/Credit Union or any government agency.  The value of the investment may fluctuate, the return on the investment is not guaranteed, and loss of principal is possible.

Index data obtained via FactSet


For Public Use – Tracking # 1-837529 (Exp. 3/20)