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Wall Street posts big gains to end strong week

  • All 11 major S&P 500 sectors higher
  • Bank stocks rally after clearing Fed’s stress test
  • FedEx jumps after strong forecast

June 24 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes jumped sharply on Friday in a broad rally as signs of slowing economic growth and a recent pullback in commodity prices tempered expectations for the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike plans.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors ended higher.

Financial markets have been roiled on worries that rapid rate hikes by the Fed to rein in 40-year-high inflation could cause a recession. Investors have been gauging when the market might hit its bottom after the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) earlier this month recorded a 20% drop from its January closing peak, confirming the common definition of a bear market.

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“Some of the moves, the sellers just get exhausted so you don’t have as much capital moving out,” said Shawn Cruz, head trading strategist at TD Ameritrade.

“This might be a little bit of a relief rally,” Cruz said. “But I think I would not encourage anyone to start going in with both hands at the moment, because we have seen this repeatedly where these things can reverse themselves pretty quickly.”

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 116.98 points, or 3.08%, to end at 3,912.71 points, while the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) gained 380.21 points, or 3.38%, to 11,612.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 839.93 points, or 2.70%, to 31,505.59.

Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., May 20, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

U.S. consumer sentiment fell to a record low in June, but Americans saw a marginal improvement in the outlook for inflation, a survey showed on Friday. Data on Thursday pointed to slowing U.S. business activity in June. read more

Helping ease inflation fears was a sharp drop in commodity prices this week. The Refinitiv/CoreCommodity Index (.TRCCRB), which measures prices for energy, agriculture, metals and other commodities, fell to a roughly two-month low on Thursday after hitting a multi-year peak earlier in June.

Fed funds futures traders are now pricing for the benchmark rate to rise to about 3.5% by March, down from expectations last week that it would increase to around 4%.

“The expectation of future rate hikes coming down is part of the equation that makes today’s equity market so strong,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Bank stocks rallied after the Fed’s annual “stress test” exercise showed that the lenders have enough capital to weather a severe economic downturn. read more

In company news, FedEx Corp (FDX.N) shares jumped after the parcel delivery company issued a stronger-than-expected full-year profit forecast. read more

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Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York, Sruthi Shankar and Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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