Daily Data Flow: Stocks Fall on Decreased Confidence; Gold Profits off Stock Fall; Nikkei Hits 4-1/2-Year High

Stocks Fall on Decreased Confidence (Bloomberg)
Reports of a decline in March’s consumer confidence levels contributed to a fall in stocks today, snapping the Dow’s ten-day streak of daily growth. ???This is a market that is digesting, it???s a market that is in watchful wait mode, and waiting either to continue this pullback or getting ready for the next leg,??? Quincy Krosby, a market strategist for Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential Financial Inc., said. ???It???s healthy to have these gaps between run-ups.???

Gold Grows on Weakness Elsewhere (CNBC)
Today the price of gold rose, as both U.S. and European stocks fell. Much of gold’s rise is attributable to expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue its monetary easing policies. “The Fed said it is going to expand its balance sheet for a while, and for that reason inflation and inflation-related data are not a concern, whereas it is clearly a factor for gold that monetary easing in key markets continues,” Danske Bank analyst Christin Tuxen said.

Nikkei Hits 4-1/2-Year High (Reuters)
While U.S. stocks fell today, Japan’s Nikkei rose to a four and a half-year high, thanks to high hopes for the Bank of Japan’s new leadership and expectations for aggressive monetary easing. “Approval by the upper house will boost hopes for more decisive and swift policy easing,” said Yoshiyuki Kondo, an analyst at Daiwa Securities.