The Dow closed the trading week down 65 points to 20,663 on light trading volume as the first quarter of 2017 came to a close. For the week the Dow had a net gain of about a 0.3% and appears to have found support at its 50 day moving average. Year to date the Dow is up about 4.8%.
Today marks the end of the first quarter and brings with it the ritual of “window dressing” whereby investment managers get rid of loser stocks so that they do not show up on the holdings page and thus get browbeat by shareholders in their funds. Monday might see these same managers begin to put some of this cash to work.
Homebuilder sentiment is higher than a hippy as the monthly index of builder sentiment jumped 6 points to its highest level in 12 years. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market index hit a reading of 71 in March. Anything above a reading of 50 indicates growth. Homebuilders are citing better jobs data and consumer confidence coupled with deregulations from the Trump White House as reasons for optimism.
WTI crude oil prices finished the day up 0.7% to $50.60 per barrel as the battle between supply and demand ebbs and flows. For the first quarter the price of oil was lower by about 5.8%.