Strongest Quarter Since 2009 for S&P

Meanwhile, it was the VIX's worst quarter ever

Mar 29, 2019 at 4:36 PM
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U.S. stocks spent the session higher, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the latest trade talks with China were "constructive." A Chinese delegation will travel to Washington, D.C., next week for another round of negotiations. The optimism pushed trade-sensitive stocks like Caterpillar (CAT) and Boeing (BA) higher, and helped the Dow to a 211-point gain by the close. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 also finished the session in the black, with the latter wrapping up its strongest quarter in nearly 10 years. Meanwhile, it was the worst quarterly loss ever for the VIX, otherwise known as the stock market's "fear gauge."

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,928.68) rallied 211.2 points, or 0.8%, today. CAT paced the 29 advancing blue chips, adding 2.4%, while 3M (MMM) was the lone decliner, dropping 0.4%. The Dow ended the week with a 1.7% gain, eked out a monthly win of less than 0.1%. In the first quarter, the DJI advanced 11.2% -- its strongest since March 2013.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,834.40) closed up 19 points, or 0.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,729.32) picked up 60.2 points, or 0.8%. The SPX closed the week with a gain of 1.2%, and a monthly win of 1.8%. It finished the first quarter with a gain of 13.1% -- its best quarter since June 2009. The Nasdaq settled the week and month up 1.1% and 2.6%, respectively, and ended the first quarter with a 16.5% gain -- its best since March 2012.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 13.71) ended the day down 0.7 point, or 5%. For the week, the VIX fell 17%. It dropped 7.2% in March, and suffered a 46.1% loss in the first quarter -- its worst ever.

closing indexes summary march 29

nyse and nasdaq stats march 29

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. Lyft began trading on the Nasdaq today, under the ticker LYFT. The ride-hailing service priced its initial public offering (IPO) at $72 per share -- near the top end of its range -- and finished the day at $78.29. (CNBC)
  2. The third defeat of U.K. Primer Minister Theresa May's Brexit proposal triggered mass protests by Brexit supporters in London. Some officers were seen near Downing Street in riot gear, and MP Joanna Cherry tweeted that she was briefly "prevented from getting to College Green" amid a "very intimidatory atmosphere."(CNN)
  3. 2 stocks that soared on arthritis drug news.
  4. Seelos Therapeutics' 2019 plan was well-received by shareholders.
  5. 3 pharmaceutical stocks analysts think could double.

corporate earnings march 29

unusual options activity march 29

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Also Notches Best Quarter Since 2009

Oil prices ended higher, retaking the key $60-per-barrel mark. May crude futures finished 84 cents, or 1.4%, higher at $60.14 per barrel. For the week and month, black gold added 1.9% and 5.1%, respectively (comparing most-active contracts). Meanwhile, it gained 32% in the first quarter, marking its best since 2009.

Gold prices also finished higher, despite a stronger dollar. June gold -- the most active contract -- added $3.20, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,298.50 an ounce. For the week and month, gold fell 1% and 1.4%, respectively. For the quarter, however, the malleable metal gained 1.2%.

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