US stocks bounce back after chaotic week in markets

Stocks bounced back at the end of a chaotic week in financial markets, with a little help from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s reassurance that bigger rate hikes would be off the table for now even after the hot inflation readings of the past few days.

The S&P 500 advanced after flirting with bear-market territory — defined by a 20% plunge from a recent record. But it still headed toward its sixth straight week of declines — the longest losing streak since June 2011. Tech stocks outperformed amid gains in giants like Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. Meanwhile, Elon Musk caused chaos over his takeover offer for Twitter Inc, first claiming his bid was “temporarily on hold” and then maintaining he is “still committed” to the deal — sending the social media giant into a tailspin. Tesla Inc. pushed higher. Treasuries fell.

Powell reaffirmed that the central bank is likely to raise interest rates by a half percentage point at each of its next two meetings, while leaving open the possibility it could do more. In a interview with the Marketplace public radio program on Thursday, he made clear his determination to fight inflation, but conceded that the Fed’s ability to do that without triggering a recession may depend on factors outside its control.Expectations of a technical bounce in the S&P 500 are building after a drop of about 18% from a record high in January. One possible zone of support comes from a cluster of Fibonacci levels, which capture retracements of rallies in the U.S. equity benchmark from 2020 Covid crash lows. The cluster lies in the 3,790 to 3,825 area, and a sustained break below would bring 3,500 to 3,550 into focus.

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 rose 1.2% as of 9:31 a.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 rose 1.8%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8%
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.5%
  • The MSCI World index rose 1.2%Currencies
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
  • The euro fell 0.2% to $1.0360
  • The British pound fell 0.3% to $1.2169
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.7% to 129.20 per dollar

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced six basis points to 2.90%
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced eight basis points to 0.92%
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced six basis points to 1.72%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2.8% to $109.10 a barrel
  • Gold futures fell 1.3% to $1,801.20 an ounce

–With assistance from Sunil Jagtiani, John Viljoen, Srinivasan Sivabalan, Vildana Hajric, Isabelle Lee and Akshay Chinchalkar.

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