S&P 500 rises Friday, posts second winning week in a row

The S&P 500 index rose on Friday to close a winning week even as investors weighed in on interest rate hikes and war in Ukraine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153.3 points, or 0.4%, to 34,861.24. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to close at 4,543.06. The Nasdaq Composite fell about 0.2% to 14,169.30.

All three major averages recorded a second consecutive winning week. The Dow rose 0.3%. The S&P 500 is up 1.8% and the Nasdaq is up nearly 2% in the week to now.

The S&P 500 is now about 3.9% higher in March, more than it has fallen since Russia invaded Ukraine late last month.

The recovery has come even as the war in Ukraine continues and interest rates move higher, with the Federal Reserve set to raise interest rates several more times this year.

Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said: “Stocks are bullish despite the hawkish Fed and stagnant inflation concerns, as many believe there are no alternatives to equities.” .

Benchmark rate for 10 years on Friday hit a multi-year high of 2.5% as investors price in a more aggressive rate hike cycle.

Financial stocks rose on Friday as 10-year yields jumped. Bank of America and Wells Fargo rose 1.5% and 2.4%, respectively.

On the other hand, technology stocks fell, weighing on Nasdaq. Zoom fell 3.2% and DocuSign lost 3.9%, among Nasdaq’s worst losers on Friday.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday vow to be tough on inflation. The comment came after the Fed interest rate hike for the first time since 2018 last week, with a spike at each of the six remaining policy meetings this year.

On Monday, Powell noted that a rate hike could go from a traditional quarter-percentage move to a more aggressive half-point increase if necessary.

The central banker’s comments prompted Wall Street to raise interest rate expectations, with companies from Goldman Sachs to Bank of America racking up half a point at future Fed meetings this year.

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Meanwhile, investors look to promising signs that the economy can perform strongly even as interest rates rise amid expectations of a more aggressive Fed.

The Labor Department reported on Thursday – the latest sign of a labor market recovery. Economists expect the March jobs report next week to show similar strength.

“The 10-year yields are rising at the same time that confidence in growth hasn’t collapsed. It’s flooding the market and lifting equities a bit because that’s the immediate concern about the impact of the war in Ukraine.” , said Yung-Yu Ma, Chief Investment Strategist at BMO Wealth Management.

Traders keep an eye on Europe as Ukraine-Russia war continues. The European Union on Friday reached a gas deal with the US in an effort to reduce dependence on Russian energy.

— Christopher Hayes of CNBC contributed to this report.

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