Stocks jump to break three-week skid
Wall Street added to its recent gains on Friday with a broad rally that snapped the market’s three-week losing streak.
The S&P 500 closed 1.5% higher, its third consecutive gain, and ended with a 3.7% gain for the week. That makes it the benchmark’s best week since July.
Big gains for technology companies pushed the Nasdaq composite to a 2.1% gain, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2%. The indices posted their first weekly gains in four weeks.
The latest gains punctuated a holiday-shortened week of trading on Wall Street, in which the market regained some of the ground it had lost after a mid-August slump that erased much of the gains of a mid-summer rally.
A weaker dollar and a reversal among short sellers — traders who are betting the market will go down — appear to be responsible for part of Friday’s rally, said Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
“You had a small positive catalyst in the dollar’s fall today, and lo and behold, that extreme positioning had to be unraveled in a way,” he said. “We probably wouldn’t interpret much of it. For us, anyway, the tendency to [stocks] remains lower.”
The S&P 500 rose 61.18 points to 4,067.36. The index is still down about 15% so far this year.
The Dow added 377.19 points to 32,151.71, while the Nasdaq rose 250.18 points to 12,112.31.
Tech stocks and retailers saw some of the biggest gains. Microsoft Corp. rose 2.3% and Amazon.com Inc. rose 2.7%.
DocuSign Inc. jumped 10.5% after the e-signature company reported strong second-quarter sales and raised its subscription forecast.
All 11 industry sectors in the benchmark S&P 500 rose, although makers of household goods and utilities, which are generally considered less risky investments, lagged the market. US crude oil prices rose 3.9%, which helped push energy stocks higher. Exxon Mobil Corp. increased by 1.7%.
Small business stocks also posted strong gains on Friday. The Russell 2000 Index rose 35.94 points, or 1.9%, to 1,882.85.
Bond yields mostly rose. The 10-year Treasury yield, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other loans, slipped to 3.31 from 3.33% late Thursday. The two-year Treasury yield, which tends to follow Federal Reserve stock expectations, rose to 3.57% from 3.51%.
The Fed has been the main target for investors as they try to determine whether the central bank’s plan to quell the highest inflation in four decades will work or possibly tip an already slowing economy into a recession.
Stocks spent July and part of August gaining ground in hopes the Fed would ease interest rate hikes, but have slumped in recent weeks as it became clear that the bank Central Bank remained committed to raising rates.
The central bank has already hiked rates four times this year, and markets expect it to make another significant three-quarters percentage point hike when it meets in two weeks. Fed officials, including Chairman Jerome Powell, all reaffirmed the central bank’s determination to raise rates until inflation is brought under control.
That left investors watching economic data closely for any signs of slowing inflation. The schedule for these updates will be loaded next week.
The Labor Department will release its consumer price report for August on Tuesday, and a wholesale price report will be released on Wednesday.
Wall Street will receive an update from the Commerce Department on August retail sales on Thursday, when the Labor Department also releases its weekly jobless claims report.