S&P Hits Highs, Posts Strongest Q1 in 5 Yrs.

The S&P 500 rose Thursday as it aimed to wrap up its best first-quarter performance in five years.

The Dow Jones Industrials took on 46.77 points to 39,806.85.

The much-broader index jumped 5.86 points to 5,254.35.

The NASDAQ dived 20.06 points to 16,379.45.

For the quarter, the S&P 500 is about 10.3% higher. It is on pace for its best first-quarter gain since 2019, when it rallied 13.1%. The 30-stock Dow, up 5.7% during the period, is tracking for its strongest first-quarter performance since 2021 when it advanced 7.4%. The NASDAQ is up 9.3% in the quarter thus far.

On a monthly basis, the S&P 500 is 3.2% higher. The NASDAQ is set to climb 2%, and the Dow is pacing for an advance of 2.2%.

Driving the gains this quarter and month has been Nvidia, last year’s market leader, as the artificial intelligence craze shows no signs of slowing. The stock is up 83% for the quarter and 15% in March alone.

Although the market will be closed due to Good Friday, economic data tied to personal income, consumer spending and personal consumption expenditures will be released that day.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury were slightly downward, raising yields to 4.21% from Wednesday’s 4.19%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices chugged higher $1.67 to $83.02 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up $29.10 to $2,241.80 U.S. an ounce.