Volatility Not Expected to Slow Down

The broader market’s first-quarter performance has been marked by wide swings and shallow gains, and the second quarter is likely to start off just as volatile with the upcoming earnings season a key.

Tuesday is the final day of the first quarter, and the S&P 500 at 2,086 is up 1.3 percent so far, with all but 0.1 percentage point of that gain made Monday. The Dow is 0.8 percent higher for the quarter, but small caps, techs and biotechs have outperformed, with the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq both up more than 4 percent.

The dramatic movers for the quarter were the dollar and oil—both blamed for slamming corporate profits and creating an earnings recession with the first profit decline in six years. The U.S. currency edged higher Monday, and the dollar index is up more than 8.5 percent for the quarter, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures are down about 9 percent.


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