US Stock Market Update: S&P 500 ends at a New Record, Strongest First Quarter

Stocks were not moving in the final trading session of the first quarter.

Investors finished 2023 on a high note. Markets weathered a regional financial crisis and geopolitical uncertainty to enter a strong bull market. The economy dodged the widely feared recession. Traders expected the Fed to launch the first of six rate decreases this year in March.

Following the announcement of job market and GDP data, US equities remained steady on Thursday, with each of the major indices expected to have excellent quarters.

US Stock Market
Source: Visual Capiitalist

The S&P 500 just turned in its best

On Thursday, the S&P 500 closed at its 22nd consecutive record high of the year. The first 17 were registered over the first 50 trading days of 2024, the highest number since 1998, according to Bespoke Investment Research. The Dow and Nasdaq have also achieved many record highs.

Some of the Magnificent Seven tech stocks have faltered after leading last year’s massive surge. Apple stock sank 11% in the first quarter on concerns about slowing sales in China. Tesla stock dropped 29.3%. Alphabet shares are up 8% this year, following Nvidia, Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon, who have all posted double-digit gains.

More than simply those four tech equities have risen this quarter. The S&P 600 index, which monitors US small caps, reached a 52-week high this week after the Fed confirmed earlier this month its estimate of three rate cuts this year. The price of gold has risen to many all-time highs. Bitcoin also rose to new highs for the first time since 2021, after US regulators allowed spot exchange-traded funds linked to the cryptocurrency.

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