Markets closed — What you need to know in markets on Friday

Myles Udland
Markets Reporter

The first quarter of 2018 is in the books.

Thursday’s trading — which saw each of the major U.S. indexes rally to cap what’s been a very choppy week for investors — served as the final day of the week, the month, and the quarter. The Good Friday holiday will see stock markets around the world close on Friday.

Through the first quarter of 2018, the Dow is down 2.5%, the S&P 500 is down 1.2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 2.3%.

And while the tech sector has been the locus of much of the market’s stress over the last several weeks, this sector led markets higher during the year’s hot start and have held onto those gains despite recent turbulence.

The S&P 500 has had a wild ride so far this year. Expect this to continue in the quarters ahead. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

The last few weeks of market instability have largely been attributed to investor concerns over Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL), and Amazon (AMZN) facing potential regulatory action from the Trump administration and other governments around the world.

Since the January 26th high hit by the market, Facebook and Google have shed a combined $230 billion in market cap. And the biggest 25 members of the S&P 500 have shed almost $1 trillion in market cap, about 40% of the market cap losses seen during that period.

And looking at the performance of the FAANG stocks, we see that even with the recent regulatory worries around Amazon, the stock is up 21% this year. Netflix (NFLX), meanwhile, is up 46%. Apple (AAPL), however is down about 2%, while Alphabet is off 3.3%, and Facebook is down 11%.

But ultimately, the quarter-end performance for many stocks and the market at large paints the picture of three-month window that really felt like two distinct moments — the euphoria, and the handover.

Through January 26, the S&P 500 was up better than 6% for the year after a year in which the index rose about 20%. Since then, the S&P 500 is down about 10%. And from the distance of a full quarter’s trading, it almost looks like not much happened. But as we head into the second quarter, it’s clear markets are in a new regime of higher volatility, more skepticism about the Trump administration’s plans, and, depending on how you see things, a more exciting time to be an investor.

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

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