U.S. Gains on Improved Economy, Strong Corporate Earningspublished by T Rowe Price
Despite stumbling near the end of the month, major U.S. stock indexes rose in March, adding to the gains of the first two months of 2012. The S&P 500 Index reached the 1,400 mark for the first time since May 2008, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to its best level since the beginning of the financial crisis. The eurozone backed away from the point of collapse, the U.S. economy showed continued signs of life, and central banks pledged to step in and support global economic growth. Investors diverted assets from relatively safe but low-yielding bonds into riskier investments following last year's turmoil. Strong corporate earnings reports also bolstered U.S. equity returns.