Monthly Market Commentary for April 2015
Domestic markets slumped at month end to wipe out the majority of the equity rally that took both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index to new all-time highs. Mixed economic data led to a selloff of small cap and technology stocks who, until recently, were strong performers. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all posted modest gains, rising just 0.9%, 0.4%, and 0.8% respectively.
High quality government bonds in both the United States and Eurozone experienced selling pressure, pushing their yields higher. The 10-year U.S. Treasury rose 12 basis points to finish the month at 2.05%. The 10-year German bund rose 18 basis points to close the month at 0.36%, its highest level in nearly seven weeks. The Federal Reserve, in its April policy meeting, removed language as to specific dates in which they could raise interest rates.
The big news of the month came in the oil market as oil prices reached a new high for the year and posted its biggest monthly gain since 2009, rising 25% for the month. A slowdown of U.S. oil stockpiles signaled the country is becoming less oversupplied as oil production growth decelerates. In addition, the dollar weakened against other major currencies last month, giving yet another boost to oil prices.