The beginning of March saw a firework display of records (S&P500, Nasdaq Composite, Nasdaq-100), with closing comments pointing to a market in all-in mode, with a bullish rally that bears increasing resemblance to the period of late 1999/early 2000.

The US indices are closing their 18th week of gains, with a weekly gain of +1% for the S&P500 (+0.8% this Friday and a new double: intraday record at 5.140 and close at 5.137), a surge of +1.14% this Friday for the Nasdaq Composite (same double at 16.302 and 16.275) and the Nasdaq-100 is even stronger with +1.44% (double 18.333 and 18.303) for a weekly gain of +2%.

The stars of the day were NetApp with +18.2%, ahead of Marvell Techno +8.3%, Broadcom +7.6%, AMD +5.3% and Micron +5%... and the inevitable Nvidia with +4%, which shattered the $820 mark and climbed above the $2,000 billion market capitalization ($2,003 billion), in a volume of $36 billion (the equivalent of two weeks' activity on the Paris market).

The semiconductor sector soared +4% over Friday's session, posting a stratospheric gain of +20% in the space of a month (comparable to the behavior of the dot.coms in Q1 2000).

The Dow Jones settled at +0.23% at 39,087, but no one was interested. The regional banks continued their descent into hell, with a sectoral decline of -1.1% (like the previous day, the sector ended the day as the red lantern).

It should be noted that the day had started well, with the Nikkei (+1.9%) soaring by +2.1% on a weekly basis to close at 40,000, 1,000 higher than its previous record set 34 years ago. With an hour to go before the close, we wondered whether the Nasdaq would not also post a 2% rise, so inexorable did the "rally mode" seem.

Investors took note of a number of rather disappointing statistics, which Wall Street was quick to dismiss as "anecdotes with no stock market relevance": the ISM index for the US manufacturing sector remained unchanged below 50 for the 16th month in a row, dropping from 49.1 in January to 47.8 in February.

US consumer confidence deteriorated sharply in February, according to the index calculated by the University of Michigan, which came in at 76.9, compared with a preliminary estimate of 79.6 and 79 the previous month.

T-Bonds, on the other hand, eased by -6 basis points to 4.192%, which enabled them to post a good week with a spread of -5 basis points, an easing "late in the game" linked to the poor manufacturing ISM and the fall in the UMich index.

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