- Fed’s Collins sees a 75 basis point increase on the table
- Grindr soars in market debut
- Gap shares rise on positive results
- Indexes Up: Dow 0.59%, S&P 0.48%, Nasdaq 0.01%
Nov 18 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended higher in a choppy trading session on Friday as gains in defensive stocks overshadowed energy declines and investors shrugged off Federal Reserve officials’ aggressive comments about rate hikes.
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston leader Susan Collins said that, with little evidence that price pressures are abating, the Fed may need to hike another 75 basis points to bring inflation under control.
On Thursday, James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed, sparked stock falls when he said the Fed should continue to raise interest rates as the tightening has so far “had only limited effects on perceived inflation.”
With Collins and then Bullard, “We’ve had very aggressive talks, but the market has done really well,” said Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer at Trust Advisory Services. “It hasn’t entered the market as negatively as it has in the past.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 199.37 points, or 0.59%, to 33,745.69, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 18.78 points, or 0.48%, to 3,965.34 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 1.11 points, or 0.01%, to 11,146.06.
During the week, the S&P 500 fell 0.7%, a modest pullback after a strong month-long rally spurred by softer-than-expected inflation data that raised hopes that the central bank could temper its market-punishing rate hikes.
The Nasdaq fell 1.6% this week, while the Dow was essentially unchanged.
“Markets are kind of in a pattern,” ahead of employment and other economic data, said Lauren Goodwin, an economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments.
“What drives all stocks, of course, is Fed policy and the gravitational pull that rising interest rates have on the stock complex as a whole,” Goodwin said. “It is unlikely that we will see any real evidence in terms of possible declining wage pressures or inflationary pressures in the coming weeks.”
Defensive groups led the S&P 500 sectors, with utilities (.SPLRCU) up 2%, real estate (.SPLRCR) up 1.3% and healthcare (.SPXHC) up 1.2%.
The energy sector (.SPNY) fell 0.9% as oil prices fell on concerns about weaker demand in China and further hikes in US interest rates.
In company news, shares of gay dating app Grindr skyrocketed about 214% during their market debut after the company completed its merger with a special acquisition company.
Shares of Gap Inc (GPS.N) rose 7.6% after the company beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and earnings.
Shares of Live Nation Entertainment (LYV.N) fell 7.8% after The New York Times reported that the US Justice Department was investigating whether parent company Ticketmaster had abused its power over the multibillion-dollar live music industry.
Emerging issues outnumbered declining issues on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.54 to 1; on Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.13 to 1 was in favor of progress.
The S&P 500 posted 8 new highs in 52 weeks and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 62 new highs and 141 new lows.
About 9.7 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, compared to the daily average of 12 billion over the last 20 sessions.
Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York, Shubham Batra, Ankika Biswas and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Edited by Vinay Dwivedi, Arun Koyyur and Grant McCool
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