Market Update – 3/1/2021



Thomas Ghita, Business Editor

U.S. stocks have rebounded for the week of Feb. 22 through March 1 as fears regarding rising bond yields have been subdued.

Yields rose last week, starting at 1.3% before peaking at 1.52% and ending the week at 1.42%.

This increase in yields came as a result of numerous signs that indicated the economy was on a path to recovery, causing investors to pull out of bonds and move into growth stocks in an attempt to benefit from the incoming economic rebound.

This massive shift ended up hurting markets, however, as bond yields shot up and turned investor sentiment negative due to fears over rising interest rates. This caused stocks to decrease as the S&P 500 fell by 2% on Feb. 25, before rebounding 2.3% as of March 1.

The DOW Jones Industrial Average also fell 2% on Friday before increasing by 2.15% on Monday. The Nasdaq composite has started to rebound as well, although it suffered the most due to a large sell-off in tech stocks causing it to drop 3.7% Friday. But, as of March 1st, Nasdaq is up 2.5%.

This rebound was fueled by the Federal Reserve’s comments that the rise in bond yields “aren’t concerning,” with the leader of the Federal Reserve bank of New York, John Williams, saying that the Fed is “fully committed to supporting the economy through this period.”

“Despite the near-term challenges, the longer-term outlook for the economy has improved, and our actions of the past year position monetary policy well to support a strong, full recovery,” Williams added.

This eased investors’ fears greatly regarding rising interest rates and helped to fuel the recovery following the sharp drop on Feb. 25.

Moving away from macroeconomic factors that are influencing the markets, oil continues to recover, with Brent Crude Oil Futures reaching a high of $64.50 as the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill was passed in the House of Representatives and Saudi Arabia announced that they would be increasing their oil output as prices continue to recover.

This comes in contrast to previous statements that they would be cutting crude production by 1 million barrels a day.page1image65064128 page1image65075648

This announcement came among reports that the American Petroleum Industry suffered a drop in inventories of crude oil and a huge loss in short-term crude oil production in Texas due to the winter storm, which froze production. This reversal, however, will not go into effect until April, as Saudi Arabia has yet to meet with OPEC and finalize the reversal.

Looking to next week, continued stabilization in bond yields will be key to influencing the market and investor sentiment.

In the oil market, OPEC plans to meet March 4 to finalize its oil supply policies for April, which will play a huge role in the direction Futures will move.