What Would Make the Rally Resume

 

This year, March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb—for the stock market, at least.

On March 1st, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record 21,115.56. On Friday it closed around 450 points lower. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 1.2% during the month.

Only the Nasdaq Composite index continues to hit new highs after five straight days of gains. It has soared 10% in the first quarter as biotechnology stocks made a big comeback and monster stocks like Apple and Amazon hit all-time highs. That’s spectacular, but the Dow and S&P’s 5% gains so far in 2017 haven’t been too shabby, either.

And yet, despite the strong first quarter, the big blue-chip stocks of the Dow and the S&P have been adrift for the past month. The Russell 2000 small-cap index also has been treading water.

What’s going on?

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