- All three major stock indices posted weekly gains
- S&P 500 breaks 50-day moving average
- Apple rises as Morgan Stanley raises price target
- Indexes: Dow 1.17%, S&P 1.61%, Nasdaq 1.97%
NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury yields eased and economic data rallied investors on Friday to end a tumultuous week after the growing possibility that the Federal Reserve will keep its tightening policy on hold for a while. in the year.
All three major U.S. stock indexes rose more than 1%, with the tech-rich Nasdaq climbing close to 2% on a boost from interest rate-sensitive megacaps. US Treasury yields were cut after comments from central bank officials eased fears about inflation and interest rates.
“It’s all about the Fed and how pretty they can slow the economy,” said David Carter, managing director at JPMorgan Private Bank in New York. “The feds are telling the markets what they want to hear, but also sounding the alarm that rates may need to be higher depending on economic data.”
For the week, the indexes posted gains, the S&P snapped a three-week straight losing streak and the Dow, returning to year-to-date positive territory, enjoyed its first weekly advance since late January.
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This week the S&P 500 broke through its 50- and 200-day moving averages, two closely watched technical levels.
“It’s a sign that a shift is coming,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut. “And a lot of people doubt it, but they don’t want to be left behind.”
Economic data released on Friday showed steady demand for services, with purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) from the Institute for Supply Management and S&P Global indicating that activity in the sector continued to expand even as input prices cooled.
“Investors saw what they wanted in the ISM data, which was basically healthy growth with slower prices,” Carter added. “This suggests that they are willing to stay on the plane because they are less concerned about landing.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 387.4 points, or 1.17%, to 33,390.97, the S&P 500 (.SPX) added 64.29 points, or 1.61%, to 4,045.64 and the Nasdaq added 20 points, or . 1.97%, 11,689.01.
All 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 ended the session in the green, with technology (.SPLRCT) and consumer discretionary (.SPLRCD) enjoying the biggest percentage gains.
Fourth-quarter earnings season is in its final stages, with all but seven companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Results for the quarter beat consensus estimates by 68%, according to Refinitiv.
Overall, however, analysts believe S&P 500 earnings will have fallen 3.2% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, and expect negative annual numbers in the first two quarters of 2023. A three-quarter revenue slowdown in the final months of 2022, a Refinitiv.
Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ) rose 3.5% after Morgan Stanley said it could gain more than 20% in hardware subscriptions this year.
Broadcom Inc ( AVGO.O ) advanced 5.7% after the chipmaker forecast second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as increased investments in AI fueled demand for chips.
Among the losers, Costco Wholesale Corp ( COST.O ) fell 2.1% as its earnings missed, as high inflation dampened consumer demand.
Chipmaker Marvell Technology Inc ( MRVL.O ) fell 4.7% on a quarterly profit miss and a disappointing revenue forecast.
Advancing issues outnumber declining issues on the NYSE by a ratio of 4.54-to-1; On the Nasdaq, a 2.36-to-1 ratio favored the advancers.
S&P 500 hits 23 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; The Nasdaq Composite posted 79 new highs and 57 new lows.
Volume in US equities was 10.83 billion shares, compared to an average of 11.10 billion shares in the last 20 trading days.
Reporting by Stephen Culp; Additional reporting by Shruti Shankar in Bangalore; Editing by Cynthia Osterman
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