THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
Modest gains in major market indices masked sharp volatility amid the uncertainty arising from mixed messages emanating from public officials and revived banking fears.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.18%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 1.39%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 1.66% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced by 3.29%.1,2,3
A TURBULENT WEEK FOR STOCKS
The stock market was unable to find sustained direction as investors weighed comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Stocks initially rose as banking fears eased following a deal to acquire a troubled Swiss bank. Optimism was further fueled by Yellen, who said the government could intervene to protect depositors if more bank issues materialized.
Enthusiasm faded, however, when Yellen subsequently testified that the Treasury was not working on any blanket insurance for bank deposits and by the Fed’s warning that banking turmoil could shrink lending access — the volatile week ended with sharp intraday price swings, shrugging off revived European banking concerns.
1. The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2023
2. The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2023