US stocks posted their best quarter in nearly a decade aided by accommodative central banks. The S&P 500 was up 1.2% and the Dow gained 1.7% for the week. Internationally, Europe rose 0.8% and Japan dropped 1.1% for the week. Oil finished the quarter at $60 a barrel, up 32%, for their biggest quarterly gain since 2009. The 10-year Treasury yield finished the week at 2.42%, down from the previous week and well below 2.68% where it started the year.
The ECB signaled there are growing concerns about the adverse effects of negative interest rates that have been in place for nearly 5 years. They also could consider additional delays in interest rate increases.
US 4th quarter GDP rose 2.2%, slower than estimated.
Personal consumption expenditures, a measure of household spending increased 0.1% in January from December, less than expected.
Consumer sentiment picked up in March.
New home sales rose in February.
The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge fell for the first time in 22 months.
Parliament rejected Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal a third time on the day Britain was expected to leave the EU.
Earnings at S&P 500 companies is expected to fall 3.8% from a year earlier in the first quarter.