The S&P 500 rose on Friday and headed toward its best week since June as a report showing slowing inflation on Thursday raised hopes that the Federal Reserve would soon slow its tightening campaign.
The S&P 500 added 0.6%, bringing its gain for the week to more than 5%, its best week since the one ended June 24 of this year. The Nasdaq Composite added 1.7% as investors continued to buy tech shares on hopes interest rates would ease. The Dow Jones Industrial average was the outlier, shedding 0.2% as shares of defensive stocks UnitedHealth and Merck declined.
The Dow jumped more than 1,200 points on Thursday following a smaller-than-expected rise in consumer prices for the month of October, giving investors hope that inflation may be cooling. The S&P rose 5.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite surged about 7.4%. It was the best day since 2020 for all three.
Treasury yields plunged Thursday on the back of the weaker-than-expected inflation print. The 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.82% after ending last week at 4.16%.
“From an equity market perspective, as long as the threat of much higher rates is out the way, this should remove a major headwind,” Barclays’ Emmanuel Cau wrote in a Friday note.
Tech stocks on Friday shook off a decline in cryptocurrencies, which came under pressure Friday after FTX announced it’s filing for bankruptcy, and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried resigned. Bitcoin fell 6%, and ether declined more than 7%. Tech stocks and related crypto stocks rebounded after opening lower Friday.
Casino stocks jumped after China said it would lift some Covid restrictions, shortening quarantine time for international travelers by two days. Shares of Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands were more than 8% and 6% higher, respectively.
All of the indexes are on pace for a winning week. The Dow is up about 4% on a weekly basis, while the Nasdaq Composite is up nearly 8%. This week is a resumption of a comeback rally for the bear market which began in mid-October, but paused in recent weeks. The S&P 500 is now up nearly 14% from its bear market low, but still down 16% for the year.
“Yesterday’s strength was notable, it was remarkable, it was historically significant, but it’s one day. It’s a single day. And we can’t read too much into that when we are still in a volatile period within a downtrend and challenging macro environment,” said U.S. Bank Wealth Management’s Bill Merz.
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