Mixed Signals: US Stock Markets See Slight Increases and Declines, Retail Investor Confidence High as Pending Housing Transactions Grow

Wall Street Seeks Clarity as Investor Sentiment Approaches 12-Month Highs

On Thursday, the main stock indices showed mixed trends. The sentiment among US retail investors is currently high, nearing 12-month highs, as per a survey. The S&P 500 index started trading with a slight increase of 0.03 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite, which focuses more on technology, was down by 0.05 percent. The Dow Jones was down by 0.08 percent.

Investor confidence has also improved, with the AA II survey indicating that half of the respondents hold a positive view of the stock market’s development in the next six months. This is close to the 12-month highs for the year, where 53 percent of respondents were optimistic, compared to the historical average of 38 percent. Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the United States is currently strong, with the Michigan confidence index scoring 79.4 in March, surpassing economists’ estimates of 76.5 from February. This is the highest reading since July 2021.

On another front, pending housing transactions in the USA grew by 1.6 percent in February from January. However, this growth was tempered by a decline in US Chicago purchasing managers’ index scores in March compared to expectations and previous month performance; it scored only 41.4 instead of an estimated score of 46 and last month’s score of 44 respectively .

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