U.S. Stocks Showing Strong Move Back To The Upside

Stocks have shown a significant move to the upside over the course of the trading day on Friday, largely offsetting the pullback seen in the previous session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq has led the way higher, reaching its best intraday level in almost two months.

The major averages have pulled back off their best levels in recent trading but remain firmly positive. The Nasdaq is up 203.92 points or 1.5 percent at 13,725.36, the S&P 500 is up 45.70 points or 1.1 percent at 4,393.05 and the Dow is up 236.00 points or 0.7 percent at 34,127.94.

The rally on Wall Street come as traders have 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 have seen further upside over the course of the session even though yields have 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 have moved sharply higher over the course of the session, resulting in a 3.5 percent surge by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Significant strength is also visible among software stocks, with the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index jumping by 1.9 percent to its best intraday level in well over a year.

Housing stocks have also shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index up by 1.5 percent.

Energy, retail and computer hardware stocks have also moved notably higher, while gold stocks continue to see some weakness amid a steep drop by the price of the precious meteal.

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 have 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, is up by less than a basis point at 4.634 percent.

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