Equity Overview - Domestic Equity Markets

  April 13, 2015

Major stock market indices ended the first quarter of 2015 rather flat, with the S&P 500 up 0.44%, the Dow Jones Average down 0.26%, and the technology heavy Nasdaq up 3.48%. The Nasdaq reached 5000 for the first time since March 2000, outperforming its larger cap counterparts for the first quarter.

The Fed may have indirectly helped mitigate a market decline in stocks and bond prices when it suggested that it might wait longer before raising rates. A slowly improving labor market and a minimal inflation rate has prompted the Fed to consider a longer stance on low rates.

In 2014 there were over $500 billion in stock buybacks for companies within the S&P 500. Thus far this year, the pace of buybacks has dramatically decelerated as companies are starting to find better uses for idle capital. Some analysts view this as an optimistic signal for continued capital growth among companies.

Sources: S&P, Dow Jones, Reuters Bloomberg, Federal Reserve

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