Weekly Market Update — April 8, 2023


  • U.S. equity markets gave back some of last week’s big gains, as 3 of the 4 big indices registered losses, with the mega-cap DJIA squeaking out a very modest +0.6%
  • There was a decent amount of economic news on the week, but none of it really moved markets as much as the surprise OPEC announcement that production would be cut by over 1 million barrels a day until the end of the year
  • Shortly after that surprise OPEC announcement, oil prices jumped, rising over 6% to close at $80.70/barrel while worrying Wall Street that we might see an oil-induced inflation jump in the coming months
  • Looking at the economic data, the March ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing Indices and Factory Orders were much weaker than expected, adding fuel to worries of a pending recession
  • Further, we may have seen the first signs in a slowing job market, as the ADP private-payrolls report showed an increase of 145,000 jobs, well below the expected 250,000 increase
  • Further, the JOLTS report showed that openings in February fell below 10 million for the first time in nearly two years
  • Of the 11 S&P sectors, 8 gained in value while 3 of the more defensive names gained more than 3%, as Utilities (+3.1%), Health Care (+3.1%) and Energy (+3.0%) made big moves
  • Of the 3 sectors that lost value this week, Industrials (-3.4%) and Consumer Discretionary (-3.0%) were the biggest losers


Weekly Market Performance

Close Week YTD
DJIA 33,485 +0.6% +1.0%
S&P 500 4,105 -0.1% +6.9%
NASDAQ 12,088 -1.1% +15.5%
Russell 2000 1,755 -1.6.% +0.7%
MSCI EAFE 2,101 +0.4% +8.1%
*Bond Index 2,132.95 +1.06% +4.11%
10–Year Treasury Yield 3.41% +0.11% -0.5%

*Source: Bonds represented by the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond TR USD. This chart is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any specific security. Past performance cannot guarantee future results.

Stock Markets Struggle This Week

It was only a 4-day trading week, as U.S. markets were closed on Friday in observance of the Good Friday holiday. Trading was mostly light during the 4 days, with many suggesting that traders needed a breather or were taking a pause to further digest last weeks big gains.

While there was a decent amount of economic data released, the one that seemed to generate the most negative reaction was the Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of March factory activity – which dropped to a three-year low. .


The ISM gauge seemed to grow recession concerns further when the Labor Department reported the next day that job openings declined much more than expected in February, falling below 10 million for the first time since May 2021.


There also seemed to be a bubbling worry when JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned in a letter to shareholders that “the [banking] crisis is not yet over” and that “there will be repercussions from it for years to come.”

The economic data that Wall Street tried to digest, included:

  • The March IHS Markit Manufacturing PMI fell to 49.2
  • The March ISM Manufacturing Index decreased to 46.3%, which is the lowest reading since May 2020
  • Total construction spending declined 0.1% month-over-month in February
  • Total private construction was flat month-over-month
  • Total public construction dropped 0.2% month-over-month
  • On a year-over-year basis, total construction spending was up 5.2%
  • Factory orders declined 0.7% month-over-month in February
  • Job Openings totaled 9.931 million in February, the first reading below 10 million since May 2021

Finally, the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index fell 4.1% with purchase applications falling 4.0% and refinancing applications declining 5.0%CHART 3

Around the World

  • The pan-European STOXX Europe 600 Index finished with a 0.90% gain
  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell 1.9% and the TOPIX Index dropped 2.1%
  • China’s Shanghai Stock Exchange Index gained 1.22% and its blue chip CSI 300 rose 1.13%

March Sees More Jobs and Higher Pay

Private sector employment increased by 145,000 jobs in March and annual pay was up 6.9% year-over-year, according to the March ADP National Employment Report.

“Our March payroll data is one of several signals that the economy is slowing. Employers are pulling back from a year of strong hiring and pay growth, after a three-month plateau, is inching down.”



    • Pay growth decelerated for both job stayers and job changers.
    • For job stayers, year-over-year gains fell to 6.9% from 7.2% in February.
    • Pay growth for job changers was 14.2%, down from 14.4%.

      Construction Spending Down in February But Up Year-Over-Year

      The U.S. Census Bureau reported that construction spending during February 2023 was at an annual rate of $1,844.1 billion, 0.1% below the revised January estimate of $1,845.4 billion.

      CHART 5

      • The February figure is 5.2% above the February 2022 estimate of $1,753.1 billion.
      • During the first two months of this year, construction spending amounted to $260.8 billion, 5.9% above the $246.1 billion for the same period in 2022.

      Private Construction

      • Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,453.2 billion, virtually unchanged from the revised January estimate of $1,453.6 billion.
      • Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $852.1 billion in February, 0.6% below the revised January estimate of $857.0 billion.
      • Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $601.0 billion in February, 0.7% above the revised January estimate of $596.7 billion.

      Public Construction

      • In February, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $391.0 billion, 0.2% below the revised January estimate of $391.8 billion.
      • Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $84.6 billion, 0.9% below the revised January estimate of $85.4 billion.
      • Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $120.6 billion, 0.3% above the revised January estimate of $120.3 billion.
        Construction Spending Over 20 Years
        CHART 6



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