U.S. Stocks Show Substantial Move Back To The Upside After Yesterday's Pullback

Following the sharp pullback seen Thursday afternoon, stocks showed a substantial move back to the upside during trading on Friday. The Nasdaq surged to a nearly two-month closing high, while the Dow and the S&P 500 reached their best closing levels in well over a month.

The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the session near their best levels of the day. The Nasdaq soared 276.66 points or 2.1 percent to 13,798.11, the S&P 500 spiked 67.89 points or 1.6 percent to 4,415.24 and the Dow jumped 391.16 points or 1.2 percent to 34,283.10.

For the week, the Nasdaq shot up by 2.4 percent, the S&P 500 advanced by 1.3 percent and the Dow climbed by 0.7 percent.

The rally on Wall Street came as traders shrugged off concerns about the outlook for interest rates sparked by remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday.

Powell said the Fed is not yet confident rates are at a sufficiently restrictive level to bring inflation down to 2 percent and warned the central bank would not hesitate to resume raising rates.

Despite Powell’s comments, CME Group’s FedWatch Tool currently still suggests the Fed is likely to leave interest rates over the next several months before cutting rates in mid-2024.

Stocks initially benefited from a pullback by treasury yields, which surged in afternoon trading on Thursday following a disappointing thirty-year bond auction as well as Powell’s comments.

However, the major averages continued to advance over the course of the session even though yields rebounded.

On the U.S. economic front, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index slid to 60.4 in November from 63.8 in October. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 63.7.

The consumer sentiment index decreased for the fourth consecutive month, falling to its lowest level since hitting 59.0 in May.

The report also said year-ahead inflation expectations rose to 4.4 percent in November from 4.2 percent in October, reaching the highest level since hitting 4.7 percent in April.

Long-run inflation expectations also increased from 3.0 percent in October to 3.2 percent in November, marking the highest reading since 2011.

Sector News

Semiconductor stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the session, resulting in a 4.0 percent spike by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Significant strength was also visible among software stocks, with the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index surging by 2.5 percent to its best intraday level in well over a year.

Housing stocks also showed a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index up by 1.8 percent.

Retail, computer hardware, networking and energy stocks also saw notable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dipped by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.8 percent.

The major European markets also showed significant moves to downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slumped by 1.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index slid by 1.0 percent and the German DAX Index fell by 0.8 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries pulled back near the unchanged line after seeing early strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by less than a basis point to 4.628 percent.

Looking Ahead

Inflation data will be in the spotlight next week, with reports on consumer and producer prices likely to be in focus as traders look for additional clues about the outlook for interest rates.

On the earnings front, retail giants Walmart (WMT), Home Depot (HD) and Target (TGT) are among the companies due to report their quarterly results next week along with networking giant Cisco (CSCO).

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