The beginning of March has seen a firework display of records (S&P500, Nasdaq Comp.., Nasdaq-100), and closing comments point to a market in 'all-in' mode, with a bullish rally that bears increasing resemblance to the period of late 1999/early 2000.
US indices close an 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).
Surge of +1.15% for the Nasdaq (same double at 16.302 and 16.275) and the Nasdaq-100 did even better with +1.5% (doubled 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% (at $1.400), AMD (+5.3% and +15% weekly), KLA (+5.4%), Micron (+5%), Cadence (+3.6%)... and the inevitable Nvidia (+4%), which shattered the $820 mark and climbed above the $2.000Bn capitalization ($2,003Bn), in a volume of $36Bn (the equivalent of 2 weeks' activity on the Paris market).

The semiconductor sector soars +4% this evening, posting a stratospheric gain of +20% in 1 month (this is well and truly comparable to the behavior of the 'dot.coms' in Q1 2000).
The Dow Jones is content with +0.25% at 39.090, but no one is interested in it any more.
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 40,000Pts, i.e. 1,000Pts above its previous record of 38,900 set 34 years ago.
With 1 hour to go before the close, we wondered whether the Nasdaq would not also post a 2% rise, so inexorable did 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": ISM activity in the US manufacturing sector contracted for the 16th month in a row (from 49.1 to 47.8) in February, according to the monthly survey published on Friday by the Institute for Supply Management (49.5 anticipated).

The new orders sub-index fell by 3.3 points back below the critical 50-point threshold, to 49.2 from 52.5 the previous month.

The component measuring production also fell into the contraction zone, to 48.4 in February from 50.4, while that measuring prices paid remained high, at 52.5 compared with 52.9 in January.

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

T-Bonds, on the other hand, eased by -6pts to 4.192%, and had a good week with a spread of -5pts... which can be summed up by today's improvement (taking the week from red to green).

This 'late' easing can be linked - quite logically - to the poor manufacturing ISM and the fall in the University of Michigan's consumer confidence index.

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