Monthly Market Update (March 2023): 3 Things You Need to Know

Despite the banking-sector turmoil seen in March, the S&P 500 rose in March, helped by strong returns from growth stocks that were buoyed by falling bond yields. Here are 3 things you need to know:

  1. The Federal Reserve continued to hike interest rates by 25 bps in March bringing the Federal funds rate range to 4.75% to 5.00%. U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell admitted, the current bank stress will tighten credit, with the result being “the equivalent of a rate hike or perhaps more than that.”
  2. Technology led the advance, with the Nasdaq Composite ending up 6.69% in March and 16.77% in the quarter, its best showing since 2020’s second three months. 
  3. In the Financial sector of the S&P 500, 14 of the 65 stocks were up and 51 were down, with two regional issues going into receivership (SVB Financials and Signature Bank), as one regional declined 89% for the month (First Republic Bank). Banking issues, at this point in time, do not appear to be systemic, but withdrawals may lead to more failures.

Sources: J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Economic Update; Bureau of Economic Analysis (; Bureau of Labor Statistics (; Federal Open Market Committee (; Bloomberg; FactSet.


  • The Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based index used as a proxy for the U.S. bond market. Total return quoted.
  • The S&P 500 is designed to be a leading indicator of U.S. equities and is commonly used as a proxy for the U.S. stock market. Price return quoted.
  • The MSCI ACWI ex-US Index captures large and mid-cap representation across 22 of 23 developed market countries (excluding the U.S.) and 27 emerging market countries.  The index covers approximately 85% of the global equity opportunity set outside the U.S. Price return quoted.
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index captures large and mid-cap segments in 26 emerging markets. Price return quoted (USD).

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