This was a good week from both the perspective of strong new monetary remedies as well as economic indicators that the economy may be turning. On Monday, Mr. Geithner knocked one out of the park (market-wise) when he announced his plan to buy as much as $1 trillion of bad assets from banks and avoid nationalization. Bond fund giants Pimco and Blackrock and others say they will participate in the plan. Economic reports on housing and durable goods also added to the prospect that the fourth quarter’s slide of 6.3% might have been its worst.

The mood on Wall Street has been anything but spring-like. For the week, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials have dropped 1% and the Nasdaq Composite is down 1.3%. Today is the last trading day of the first quarter which will end relatively flat for the major indices. It was shaping up to be a pretty good one until investors got spooked The S&P 500 is up 0.3%, the Nasdaq is up 0.1%, while the Dow is down 0.9%. Thanks to diversification, our returns have fared better.

After a 36% rise of the Dow Jones Industrials, a 40% rise of the broader S&P 500 and a 55% rise of the NASDAQ, investors decided to take a breather.  The first stocks to succumb to selling pressure were last year’s market leaders; technology and biotechnology companies comprising the majority of the NASDAQ index.  It reached a peak on January 29th suffering three periods of 6% declines each since then.  The index is currently off just under 10% from its high.   The Dow reached a 52-week high on February 19 at 10,753, but has fallen 5.6% since then.  The S&P 500 was last to succumb, peaking on March 5th and falling 4.4% from that level.