The first quarter performance of the U.S. stocks ended last Friday, despite the three major indexes closed with mixtures on that day, from the perspective of the whole first quarter, the U.S. stocks achieved a best quarterly performance since 1998 for the first quarter, the Nasdaq Composite index rose 18.67% this quarter, the S&P 500 index climbed with the biggest same period gains over the past 10 years.
As of Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index rose 66.37 points to close at 13,212.19 points, or 0.50%; the Nasdaq Composite index fell 3.79 points to end at 3,091.57 points, down 0.12%; the S&P 500 index increased 5.18 points tofinish at 1,408.46 points, or 0.37 percent.
Over the entire first quarter, the Dow Jones industrial average index rose 8.14%, the Nasdaq Composite index gained 18.67% and the S&P 500 index advanced 12%. The pretty good performance of the three indexes boosts the market optimistic sentiment. Alan Skrainka, the chief investment officer of Cornerstone Wealth Management, said the current market condition is powerful with a great beginning in this year, and the investors are chasing the new highs.
The aspect of data, the final value of the March Michigan consumer confidence index settled at 76.2 points, higher than 75.3 points in February, hitting a new high since February 2011. In addition, this figure also is higher than the average expectation of 74.7 points of the analysts accepted the survey by the Thomson Reuters.
Personal income and consumer spending report for February released by the U.S. government showed, the increase in consumer spending recorded a new high over the past seven months, despite the relatively modest growth in personal income. The report may urge economists to adjust the original expectation that the 2012 first-quarter economic growth may be slowed down significantly this year.
U.S. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Chicago Chapter announced Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 62.2 points for March. According to the Bloomberg’s survey, economists on average expected this figure would be 63.0 points.