Wall Street closed sharply higher on Friday as investors grew hopeful about the lawmakers reaching a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avoiding a potential crisis. The rally was driven by tech stocks. All three major indexes ended in positive territory.
How Did The Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) jumped 1% or 328.69 points to finish at 33,093.34 points, ending its five-day losing streak.
The S&P 500 rose 1.3% or 54.17 points to close at 4,205.45 points. Tech, consumer discretionary and communication services stocks were the biggest gainers.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) gained 2.8% and 2.4% respectively. The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR (XLC) rose 2%. Eight of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 2.2% or 277.59 points to end at 12,975.69 points.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 6.22% to 17.95. A total of 9.8 billion shares were traded on Friday, lower than the last 20-session average of 10.5 billion.
Congress Nears U.S. Debt Ceiling Deal
U.S. stocks rallied on Friday on signs that Congress was nearing a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling following several rounds of talks between President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy. The deal would increase the $31.4 trillion debt limit for two years.
McCarthy said that talks yielded progress on Thursday night but more progress was still required. This came after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the United States could default as early as by Jun 1.
However, the positive comments from McCarthy lifted investors’ sentiment, sending stocks on a rally. The rally was led by tech stocks. Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) gained 1.4%, while Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) rose 2.1%. Shares of NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) gained 2.5%. Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Intel Corporation’s (INTC) shares jumped 5.8%, leading the Dow higher. Investors are now trying to gauge the Fed’s future rate hike path. Expectations are high that the central bank could finally put a pause on its interest rate hikes, which could be as early as in June.
However, that may not be the case also as fresh economic data showed inflation rose once again in April.
In economic data released on Friday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said that the personal consumer expenditure (PCE) price index increased 0.4% month over month in April after rising 0.1% in March. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE index climbed 4.4% in April after increasing 4.2% in March.
Core PCE, which excluded the volatile food and energy costs, advanced 0.4% month over month in April and 4.7% from April 2022.
PCE data also showed consumer spending increased in April to 0.8%, its biggest gain in the past three months and exceeding expectations of a 0.5% rise.
Separately, the U.S. Census Bureau said that manufactured durable goods in the United States jumped 1% in April, driven by military spending. U. S. personal income increased 0.4% in April.
The Nasdaq recorded its fifth straight weekly gain, after advancing 2.5% for the week. The S&P 500 closed the week 0.3% higher, while the ended 1% lower for the week.
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