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Week-end, month-end, quarter-end — What you need to know in markets on Thursday

Myles Udland
Markets Reporter

Thursday is only March 29, but it will mark the final day of trading for the week, the month, and the first quarter of 2018.

On Wednesday, tech stocks lagged the market for the second-straight day with Amazon (AMZN) leading losses among the tech majors.

A report from Axios early Wednesday set the tone for the retail giant, with the publication reporting that President Donald Trump is “obsessed” with the company and finding a way to regulate it. This comes as lawmakers increasingly call for Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL) to face regulatory action over their treatment of user data.

Trump’s focus on Amazon, however, is largely unrelated to the current tech worries about their power and Wednesday’s market action is clearly a sign that the tech sector is in a position where any and all negative news is getting lumped together to add fuel to an already negative sentiment fire around these stocks.

President Donald Trump and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corporation listen as Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, speaks during an American Technology Council roundtable at the White House in Washington, D.C., June 19, 2017.

As we noted on Wednesday, over $2.3 trillion of market cap has been shaved off the S&P 500 since the late January top for the market, with more than $200 billion of this drop coming from Facebook and Google’s parent company Alphabet alone.

Heading into the final trading day of the quarter, the S&P 500 is down 2.5% for the year, the Dow is down 3.5% for the year, and the Nasdaq — which has been the recent source of so much market strain — is still up 0.6% this year.

Wall Street analysts, we’d note, were calling for another year of double-digit gains for the S&P 500 after 2017’s stellar run.

And while this prediction may still come to pass as strong economic data and solid earnings growth — which were the two main pillars supporting this bullish market outlook — remain realities for the market, it’s clear that investor sentiment has if not outright soured than at least become more skeptical after the breezy run investors enjoyed last year.

Now on the calendar on Thursday, the economic schedule will be a bit crammed with personal income and spending data, as well as the Fed’s preferred inflation reading, for February due out in the morning. Investors will also get the weekly reading on initial jobless claims, the March reading on manufacturing activity in the midwest, and the University of Michigan’s final check on consumer sentiment in March.

And on the earnings side, things will be pretty tame with Constellation Brands (STZ) and Movado Group (MOV) set to be the highlights.

Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MylesUdland

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