- The major U.S. equity indices all declined in March, making it two straight months of negative returns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3.7%, the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.9%, and the S&P 500 pulled back 2.7%. Stocks weakened on concerns that the new tariffs would lead to trade wars and worries that the data breach at Facebook would derail the technology sector, which had been leading the market.
- S&P 500 earnings growth remains strong. Q4 earnings were up 15% year-over-year and expectations are for Q1 earnings to increase a similar amount before taking into account the tax cuts. The tax cuts are estimated to add approximately 7%-10% to Q1 earnings.
- Liquidity still abounds. Mergers and acquisitions announced so far this year have been worth $1.1 trillion, according to Dealogic, a data provider. This is set to be the strongest Q1 result on record and 42% more than the value of deals made in the first three months of 2017.
* This commentary reflects the opinions of Welch & Forbes based on information that we believe to be reliable. It is intended for informational purposes only, and not to suggest any specific performance or results, nor should it be considered investment, financial, tax or other professional advice. It is not an offer or solicitation.
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