Stocks rose on Friday as investors asked about recent earnings reports and tried to weed out tougher language from federal speakers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 162 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.5%.
The S&P and Nasdaq are on track for bearish weeks, trading down 0.5% and 1%, respectively. The Dow Jones is currently flat for this week. However, all three are positive for this month.
Ross Stores and Palo Alto Networks popped up After the two companies announced their latest quarterly results. Investors also seemed to be elated by Gap’s latest results.
Friday’s moves come after a bearish session on Wall Street in which comments from Federal Reserve officials raised concerns about tightening US monetary policy.
St. Louis Federal Reserve Chairman James Bullard Thursday said that “The policy rate is not yet in an area that can be considered sufficiently restrictive.” He noted that the appropriate area for the federal funds rate could be in the 5% to 7% range, which is above market pricing.
said Adam Crisavoli, founder of BioKnowledge. “However, investors are tired of fighting the Fed’s daily tape bombs and the fear is that it may take another 2-3 CPIs for officials to stop blaming the market every time it tries to rally.”
Investors have responded to every new bit of economic data or any language in recent weeks that could indicate what the Fed will do next with regard to interest rates. Comments on inflation have led investors to think the Fed doesn’t think the economy has cooled enough, said Shelby McFadden, investment analyst at The Motley Fool Asset Management.
“There has been a thirst for relief and a push and pull,” she said of the investor response in recent days. “But at the end of the day, it really just depends on whether this period of inflation becomes slower than rampant, and on what the Fed decides to do next.”
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