Equities bounced back from declines the previous session which followed hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell about interest rates. Thursday’s drop ended the longest winning streaks in two years for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite.
Investors have been focused on benchmark Treasury yields, which have eased somewhat from 16-year highs, and the path of monetary policy as they assess whether the Fed might be done raising rates to control inflation and when the central bank could start cutting rates.
“We have had rates roll over here a little bit and I think that’s one of the reasons we have seen this rally over the last couple of weeks,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana. “If you think this rally has legs, yesterday gave you an opportunity to go buy some stocks today.”
Next week the consumer price index report will be closely watched, along with data on producer prices and retail sales, which will further shape interest rate projections.
“In general, the expectation investors have is that the upcoming inflation data is going to be positive for the market and I think they want to get in front of it a little bit,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.
According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 67.91 points, or 1.56%, to end at 4,415.26 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 278.02 points, or 2.06%, to 13,799.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 394.58 points, or 1.16%, to 34,286.52.
The technology sector led the way, notably megacap stocks that have propelled the market higher this year, including gains for Nvidia and Microsoft.
“People are looking at megacap tech and saying in an environment of higher rates and a slowing economy, these companies remain the best place to be and are willing to pay a premium for them,” Meckler said.
Helping support equities, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was little changed the day after a jump that was partly driven by a weaker-than-expected 30-year bond auction.
Data on Friday showed U.S. consumer sentiment fell for a fourth straight month in November, and households’ expectations for inflation rose again.
In company news, Illumina shares dropped as the genetic testing company trimmed its full-year profit forecast for the second straight quarter.
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