S&P 500 Surges 3.1% in March, Extending Stock Rally for 5th Consecutive Month

S&P 500 Surges 3.1% in March, Extending Stock Rally for 5th Consecutive Month

Major US stock indexes rose in March as the S&P 500 extended a run of monthly gains.

The large-cap S&P 500 rose 3.1% during the month, marking the fifth straight month that the index has closed in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and small-cap Russell 2000 also notched another month of gains at 2.1% and 3.4%, respectively.

Stocks have broadly risen in recent months on an improving outlook for the US economy and expectations that the US Federal Reserve will soon begin its long-awaited cuts to benchmark interest rates.

Sector performance

Every S&P 500 sector rose during March.

SNL Image

The energy sector gained 10.43% during the month, the most of any S&P 500 sector. Shares in all but one of the 23 energy companies in the index rose during March, with most of the group registering double-digit stock price gains. Valero Energy Corp. was the best-performing energy stock on the S&P 500 with a 20.7% rise in March.

Consumer discretionary registered the smallest gain among S&P 500 sectors, up just 0.01% for the month. Performance across S&P 500 consumer discretionary companies was mostly positive, though shares in larger companies including Tesla Inc., McDonald’s Corp. and Nike Inc. fell by 12.9%, 3.5% and 9.6%, respectively.

Largest gains, drops

Micron Technology Inc. registered a 30.1% rise during March, the most of any S&P 500 stock. The company on March 20 posted a surprise profit for its most recent fiscal quarter, which ended Feb. 29, as demand for semiconductors to power artificial intelligence drove positive results.

SNL Image

Lululemon Athletica Inc. was the worst-performing S&P 500 stock with a 16.4% drop. The athletic wear maker on March 21 posted revenue guidance for its current fiscal year that was below expectations, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Source Reference

Latest stories