Trading for the quarter of 2018 ended on Thursday the 29th of March, with major indexes finishing slightly up on the previous day of trading. While this would be good news when looking at day to day progression, the unfortunate reality is that the stock market is down overall for the entire quarter. This can be attributed to periods of significant volatility and wary investors who are cautions of rising interest rates and the effects they will have.
The Biggest Winners in the Stock Market Right Now
Despite overall losses in the stock market, there are a number of companies that are doing just fine, and some that are even increasing their value.
- Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) finished 5% up on Thursday.
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was up .78% and is still one of the most valuable stocks on the market.
- Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) was 2.10% up.
- Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was up 2.46%.
- 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) was up 1.38%.
- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) continued positive growth with a 1.53% gain on Thursday.
With the exclusion of Caterpillar, Boeing, and 3M, all of the strongest performers came from the tech industry. Analysts have noted that tech is in an extremely strong position, with Steven Wieting from Citi Private Bank saying recently that “It is our view that IT firms that maintain technological leadership are exactly the firms that outperform over the longer run.”
Facebook Low, But Climbing
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) faced a major scandal this month, with news emerging that a British data analytics company had been able to gain access to user information that allowed for targeted political adverts being sent to more than 50 million Americans. Facebook was aware of the data misuse when it happened, but didn’t take steps to protect the information or warn users at the time.
With the break of the scandal, Facebook stock fell drastically, resulting in a loss of around $50 billion in market capitalization. Huge numbers of sell-offs occurred, but this could be good news for investors willing to take a risk.
Facebook currently trades at $160.05, a significant decline from the March high of $180. This could be an opportunity for investors, and Facebook already displayed signs of reclaiming value in the past week. The company has promised to enforce stricter controls on privacy for its users, and will offer better tools for users to keep their information safe.
What’s Coming in the Next Quarter?
Interest rates are going to continue an upward trend this year, and that is still something that investors need to worry about. The good news is that the economy itself is in great shape, with unemployment hitting new lows, and manufacturing and industry picking up (reflected in the strength of stock like Caterpillar and 3M).
The next quarter will hopefully come with reduced volatility, but the reality is that nobody can predict what’s going to happen in the next three months. For now, tech can be seen as strong, but to call any stock ‘safe’ at this time would be a mistake, and usual caution and research is advised before making any new investments in the coming weeks.
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