Markets Improve To Start Week

Markets Improve To Start Week

After last week's uninspiring performance, traders were likely relieved to see that all three major indices opened with a relatively strong position on April 28.



Despite many economists continuing to eye the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine as a source of market instability, recent sanctions from the White House have indicated that the U.S will continue to involve itself in the proceedings, and the market has responded positively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average started the week up 70.39 points, a 0.43 percent boost that puts it at 16,431.85 as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern. However, there is still some distance between its current numbers and its April 4 high of 16,609.85. The S&P 500 has eked its way into the top spot of the three major indices with a 9.68-point, or 0.52 percent, gain. Currently at 1,873.08, it is still short of its one-month high of 1,894.52 from April 4. The most sluggish out of the gate, though not by much, the NASDAQ is up just 0.39 percent, or 15.6930 points. This puts the index at 4,091.2540, well below 4,283.0260, its one-month high that was reached on April 3.

But there is cause for optimism. Though the performance of the three major indices is nothing to write home about, they do stand as an indication of the optimism that some industry experts are calling for in the economy. New numbers released today by the National Association of Realtors show that pending home sales in March rose 3.4 percent, marking the first gain in nine months. This, in turn, is a signal that existing home sales are likely to increase. With that being said, May is just a couple of days away, marking the time of year when stocks tend to underperform. According to CNNMoney, analysts may be shifting to more defensive stocks ahead of the expected slowdown. "At this time of year, it is natural for investors to question whether they should reduce their equity exposure as we move closer to the historically vulnerable May through October period that has coined the old Wall Street adage 'Sell in May,'" said equity strategist Sam Stovall.

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