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Commentary

What Investors Were Researching in March

As the market shrugged off new eurozone worries in March, investors remained focused on finding cheap, wide-moat stocks and income-producing investments.

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The market shrugged off eurozone worries and a handful of less-than-stellar earnings forecasts from bellwethers like  FedEx (FDX) and  Oracle (ORCL). The broad-based Morningstar U.S. market index rose 3.4% in March while the both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 hit record-high levels.

Europe came back into focus during the month as Cyprus searched for a bailout and Italy searched for a government. After a few false starts, Cyprus and the European Union, International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank reached an agreement to ring-fence bank deposits of less than EUR 100,000 and take a slice out of amounts higher than that to pay for the bailout. Even though Cyprus was not forced out of the common currency, fears that the bank deposit levies would be used a template for other indebted European countries, and that depositors would start pulling money out of banks causing a bank run, briefly sent some ripples through equities. The failure of Italy to form a government also forced investors to take another look at the eurozone crisis.

Jeremy Glaser has a position in the following securities mentioned above: MSFT. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.