The month of March saw big swings in stocks, bonds, and commodities as the Russia/Ukraine war entered its second month, inflation rose to roughly a 40-year high, and the Federal Reserve signaled a significant change forthcoming in monetary policy.
The S&P 500 fell 5.26 percent in January, 3.00 percent in February, and 4.57 percent between March 1 and March 14, 2022, before gaining nearly 11 percent over an eleven-day period to finish down 4.9 percent in the first quarter.
A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose as high as $130 in March as President Biden announced a ban on Russian imports of oil, although technically it does not go into effect for a few more weeks. In fact, a tanker carrying 680,000 barrels of oil left Taman, Russia on March 22, 2022 for New Orleans, LA. After April 22, 2022, the U.S. will no longer allow oil imports from Russia.
Nevertheless, in an effort to reduce gasoline prices at the pump, President Biden announced a plan to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the strategic petroleum reserve. Oil ended March near $100 a barrel.