Daily Market Color

Equities Close at Record Highs as Services Activity Rises

Equities rise to record highs following positive economic data
The ISM services index rose to a record high in March, indicating an uptick in services activity.  Equity markets celebrated the rebound – the S&P 500 and DJIA both rose to all-time highs, closing 1.4% and 1.1% higher, respectively.  Treasury yields and swap rates ended lower across the curve – the 10-year UST yield closed 2 bps lower at 1.70%.
March ISM services index rises to highest level since 1997
The rise in services activity lifted the index from February’s nine-month low at 55.3 to 63.7, beating the 59.0 forecast.  All 18 services industries measured reported growth in March as pandemic-related restrictions continue to be lifted.
February factory orders decline by 0.8% from month prior
Following the strong 2.7% increase seen in January, bad weather conditions limited further growth for factory orders.  Order growth is expected to rebound in the coming months, powered by the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.
Pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in the US continues to accelerate
While the US is currently averaging 3.1 million shots per day, a record 4 million vaccine doses were administered on Saturday.  While 1 out of 4 adults is fully vaccinated, infection rates are still steadily increasing.  Over the past two weeks, new cases have risen approximately 18% while deaths have fallen ~23%.

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