Despite the day’s gains, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted their sixth consecutive weekly loss, the longest losing streak since fall 2012 for the S&P 500 and since spring 2011 for the Nasdaq. The Dow notched its seventh consecutive weekly dip, the blue chip average’s longest losing streak since late winter of 1980.
On Friday, Wall Street recovered to finish higher, ending a week of dramatic market swings in which relief at signs of peaking inflation clashed with worry that the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening could tip the country into recession. The rally was powered by a rebound in megacap technology and tech-related stocks, which had dropped off in recent sessions due to rising benchmark Treasury yields and the potential of the Fed boosting interest rates more aggressively than expected.
“Is this a dead cat bounce? Or is it a recognition by investors, as I believe, that the sell off is overdone?” said Oliver Pursche, senior vice president at Wealthspire Advisors, in New York. “I would not be surprised if we see one or two more down weeks, but you have to look past the indices and see the underpinnings of the market,” Pursche added. “And what we’re seeing today is some of the beaten-up quality names are really rebounding sharply.”
In the past six trading days, the Labor Department delivered four economic reports – wage growth, CPI, PPI and import prices – which together suggested inflation hit its apex in March, welcome news for market participants worried the Fed could spark a recession with its upcoming spate of inflation-fighting interest rate hikes. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, confirmed on Thursday by the U.S. Senate to a second term, reiterated the central bank’s determination to battle inflation, but said he believes the economy can avoid a serious downturn.
Powell “demonstrated a humility and seriousness at the same time,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. “He’s committing to getting this inflation under control, even if he admits it’s going to be somewhat painful.” According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 94.57 points, or 2.41%, to end at 4,024.65 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 436.61 points, or 3.84%, to 11,807.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 466.43 points, or 1.47%, to 32,196.73.
First-quarter reporting season has reached the final stretch, with 458 companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 78% have delivered consensus beating results, according to Refinitiv. For the first three months of the year, analysts now see aggregate year-on-year S&P 500 earnings growth of 11.1%, up from 6.4% at quarter-end, per Refinitiv.
Shares of Twitter Inc dropped after Elon Musk tweeted that he had put the $44 billion cash buyout deal on hold, as he waits for the social media company to provide data on fake accounts. Tesla Inc jumped following the tweet.
Trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc surged after Samuel Bankman-Fried, the chief executive and founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, revealed a 7.6% stake in the brokerage app company. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed buying more shares of Occidental Petroleum, sending the oil company’s shares higher.
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