The US stock market gained some ground in March, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite leading the pack among major indexes with a 3.08% gain. The S&P 500 increased by 2.26%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up by 0.89%.
The usual topics impacted market performance last month. It started on a positive note, with 2.9% GDP growth figures coming in for 2018. In addition, the White House sent signals suggesting that it is in the final stages of negotiating a trade deal with China, which would remove uncertainty that has been gripping the markets for months. However, no deal has been reached yet and there are reports of talks still being in progress.
As March progressed, the mood was offset by less positive developments. The non-farm payroll report, while showing a decline in unemployment to 3.8%, also showed the addition of just 20,000 jobs in February, much lower than the expected 181,000 and the previous month’s figure of 311,000.
Investors also worried about a slowdown in global growth sparked by weak economic data from around the globe. In Europe growth concerns lingered and Brexit remained the focus of attention after the EU granted UK Prime Minister Theresa May an extension to reach a deal, so far, no consensus as to how the UK will leave the EU has been reached by Parliament.
The Fed did not help matters either, as it issued a report in which it adopted a dovish stance by suggesting that there won’t be any more interest rate hikes this year and ending its balance sheet roll-off.
Let’s now look at some individual stocks that captured the attention of Financial Advisors. TrackStar, InvestingChannel’s official newsletter capturing and analyzing the trends of Financial Advisors, compiled its list of the 20 most searched tickers among Financial Advisors last month. This data shows that the most searched company was Trade Desk Inc (NASDAQ: TTD). In the second spot was CSG Systems International, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGS), a $1.44 billion provider of business support systems software and services, which didn’t see any major developments in March, but its stock did jump by 13.5% on February 6 after the company announced a dividend of $0.22, an increase of $0.01.
Among major companies that made the list of the most searched tickers was Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), which ranked third. The company received a lot of attention last month. On March 15, a terrorist attack took place at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The gunman, who killed 50 people and injured 50 others, livestreamed the first 17 minutes of the attack on Facebook. The company faced a lot of backlash for allowing the stream and millions of consecutive uploads of the video which Facebook had to remove. Facebook promised to address the issue and improve the AI responsible for analyzing live streams and said it was taking steps to ban support of white nationalism and separatism on its platforms. In addition, Product Chief Chris Cox and WhatsApp Head Chris Daniels left the company in a string of other high-profile resignations in the last couple of years that have been marked by many controversies.
Let’s now take a closer look at the number one ticker among those most-searched by Financial Advisors last month. Trade Desk Inc (NASDAQ: TTD) is a provider of a self-service platform that allows businesses to manage data-driven advertising campaigns. The company’s stock has surged by more than 78% since the beginning of the year, helped by a 31% jump on February 21 on the back of a solid fourth-quarter report that included EPS of $1.09 versus estimates of $0.79 and revenue of $160.5 million, up by 56% on the year and $12.6 million better than expected.
In March, Trade Desk also made headlines on several occasions. The company appointed Todd Krugman, who previously oversaw the IBM business at renowned advertising agency Ogilvy, as senior VP of Marketing. The company also said it had launched its programmatic ad platform in China after having tested it in beta since late 2018 and delivering multichannel campaigns for brands from various sectors.
However, not all developments surrounding Trade Desk last month were positive. Adweek reported last month that Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was looking to make some major changes to its ad tools and the Chrome browser, one of the most used internet browsers, which could have a negative effect on how ad-tech companies like Trade Desk operate.