Last week finished another strong month and quarter for the stock market. In the end, the S&P 500 had its best first quarter since 2019. As for the month, all the asset classes in the performance table listed below were positive for the month. Also encouraging about last month was the broadening out of performance in the global equity market. One example is that non-US stocks, despite a stronger dollar (which all else being equal is a headwind for international stock outperformance) matched the S&P return in March. Chinese stocks are even 15% higher than their recent 2024 lows. In other words, it wasn’t just the top tech names in the U.S. leading the way like it was in the first two months of the year. For the quarter, perhaps to the surprise of some investors, the S&P 500 outperformed the tech-heavy NASDAQ. 

Economic data last week was again supportive of market gains. Durable goods surprised to the upside. Fourth quarter GDP was revised higher. The key number of the week, the Core PCE inflation report, was a mixed bag though. The year-over-year number was encouraging, but some of the deeper analysis of data suggested that inflation, at least in the short-term, looks to be bottoming. This is consistent with other inflation reads over the last several months.

Getting back to performance, could a sustained shift in relative performance finally be happening? If the economy continues to surprise to the upside, a shift makes sense. Commodity prices also seem to be signaling stronger economic (and inflationary pressures) ahead too. Commodities even outperformed the strong performance in the over-all stock market last month. Also interesting is that corporate inside selling in the tech sector (including names such as Peter Thiel, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg) hit its highest level in 3 years last quarter.  Given the current set of economic and market data, Federal Reserve governor Chris Waller even gave a presentation last week entitled “There’s Still No Rush” suggesting it will take at least a couple months of better inflation data to gain enough confidence to consider cutting short-term interest rates. That noted, it was encouraging to see longer-term interest rates move slightly lower last week.

This coming Friday will be the important monthly payroll numbers. It should be an interesting report. Consensus expectations are for +200-220k in payroll growth and for the unemployment rate to be 3.8-3.9% (depending on the survey). Can the unemployment rate stay below 4%? If so, and if it does so next month too, that will be the longest stretch of the unemployment rate being below 4% since the early 1950s. If not, however, it could activate concerns over the “Sahm Rule”, which in the past has essentially been a signal for upcoming economic weakness.

Bottom line, the stock market is in a bull market. Tides do shift, so…


Stay invested. Stay diversified. Stay disciplined.


Download Weekly Wire

The views expressed herein are exclusively those of Orion Portfolio Solutions, LLC d/b/a Brinker Capital Investments a registered investment advisor, and are not meant as investment advice and are subject to change.
The CFA® is a globally respected, graduate-level investment credential established in 1962 and awarded by CFA Institute — the largest global association of investment professionals. To learn more about the CFA charter, visit
The CMT Program demonstrates mastery of a core body of knowledge of investment risk in portfolio management. The Chartered Market Technician® (CMT) designation marks the highest education within the discipline and is the preeminent designation for practitioners of technical analysis worldwide. To learn more about the CMT, visit
Think2perform’s Behavioral Financial Advice program integrates traditional finance practices with psychology and neuroscience to improve emotional competency and decision-making behavior that increases effective usage of the financial plan with clients. To obtain the Behavioral Financial Advisor (BFA) designation, participants must complete a self-directed course, which takes 20-30 hours to complete, and includes a mix of interactive exercises, videos and case studies. To learn more about the BFA, visit
Wealth Management services offered through Orion Portfolio Solutions, LLC d/b/a Brinker Capital Investments a registered investment advisor.

Compliance Code: 0 7 7 6, Brinker Capital Investments, April 1, 2024.