Good Friday Trading: What to Expect from the Stock Market

The Treasury market will close early on Thursday, March 28, in anticipation of the Good Friday holiday when the U.S. stock market will also be closed. Trading in the $27 trillion Treasury market will conclude at 2 p.m. Eastern on Thursday.

Despite a brief slowdown earlier in the week, stocks are aiming to wrap up a strong first-quarter rally on a positive note.

According to Dow Jones Market Data, the S&P 500 index is set to post a first-quarter gain of around 9.4%, marking its strongest performance in the first three months of a year since 2019. Similarly, the Nasdaq Composite Index is expected to record an 8.6% increase for the quarter, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up by 4.8% for the same period, as per FactSet.

All three major U.S. stock indexes have rebounded to reach record levels in the first quarter, bouncing back from challenges faced two years ago when the Federal Reserve began raising rates to counter persistent inflation.

Despite the Fed’s policy rate being at its highest level in nearly a quarter-century and 10-year Treasury yields hovering around 4.2%, the economy has shown resilience. However, investors are eagerly awaiting signs of a potential shift to rate cuts later this year, with attention particularly on a possible June rate adjustment.

While the major stock exchanges will be closed on Friday, investors can expect fresh inflation data with the release of the February PCE gauge, the Fed’s preferred inflation index, which is anticipated to show a monthly increase while maintaining a yearly rate of 2.8%.

Investor attention on Friday will also be drawn to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s scheduled speech at 11:30 a.m. Eastern.

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