After February’s 8.4% loss, the S&P 500 continued that trend into March with an initial headfake bounce to 3,131 – a 6% gain over February’s 2954.2 close – before crashing an unbelievable 30% over the next 13 sessions. Ouch! The index rallied into month’s end, to finish at 2,584.6 for an overall loss of 12.5% on the month. I guess volatility comes at you fast!
With volatility off the charts it seems silly to look back at previous April market performances, but the S&P 500 was up 3.9% last year, 0.3% in 2018 and 0.9% in 2017. Needless to say, I do not expect April 2020 to be nearly as calm. We will get the March manufacturing PMI later this morning and the median forecast is 44.0%. The previous low was November’s 47.8%.
The 10-month moving average is 3,000 which is 13.8% higher than the March close. Someday soon this market will turn, but for now the floggings will continue until morale improves.