March slowed the year-to-date stock growth we enjoyed with the turn of the year. Markets were mixed with some slightly up and some slightly down for the month. The S&P and tech-heavy NASDAQ closed a little up while the DOW and smaller company stocks closed slightly down. Bonds rose a little and international stocks averaged small losses. In sectors, health care lagged and utilities gained.
Signs in the economy continue to indicate that this economic cycle is turning, though not yet ending. The “inverted yield curve” in U.S. Treasuries is one sign that recession is some months away (very vague). This happens when short term Treasuries are paying higher than long term. Part of the low yield now in 10-year bonds is that internationally, other government bonds are offering extremely low dividends. In much of the rest of the world economies are struggling. Stock markets grow with periodic steps back. The next anticipated bear market should be average in depth and of shorter duration.
Pearly snowdrops stud the crusty remnants of last year’s lawn, scattered downwind from the bed where they were planted years ago. They will be gone before the new growth of grass needs mowing. A mild weekend coaxed the first evening chorus of spring peepers and the pre-dawn chorus of songbirds. The sounds of spring usher in the colors.