NEW YORK CITY, RAW – Wall Street’s three major indices have closed higher, with the biggest boost from recently battered technology stocks, after talks between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping over the Ukraine crisis ended without big surprises.
Investors were also relieved by slowing gains in oil prices as they continued to digest the Federal Reserve’s Wednesday interest rate increase and its aggressive plan for further hikes aimed at combating soaring inflation.
US President Joe Biden on Friday warned Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a call that there would be “consequences” if Beijing gave material support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the White House said. Both sides stressed the need for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
While Xi called on NATO nations to hold a dialogue with Moscow, he did not assign blame to Russia for the invasion.
“The readout from the meeting was as expected,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York regarding the Xi/Biden talks. He said that since Russia-Ukraine talks were continuing, investors were tending toward optimism.
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“Regarding Russia, Ukraine, the market has been more positive on news from the diplomatic front than negative on the escalation.”
Hogan also cited calmer oil prices and relief that the highly anticipated Fed news was finally out.
“Instead of having fears and trepidation of what the Fed might do we have clear roadmap for monetary policy,” he said.
As well as less onerous than expected Fed actions, Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers in Greenwich, Connecticut said investors were reassured that US crude oil prices weren’t too far above $US100 on Friday after recently surpassing $US130.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 274.17 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 34,754.93, the S&P 500 gained 51.45 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 4,463.12 and the Nasdaq Composite added 279.06 points, or 2.05 per cent, to 13,893.84.
Wall Street’s three main indices boasted their biggest weekly percentage gains since early November 2020, with the S&P adding 6.2 per cent while the Dow rose 5.5 per cent and the Nasdaq jumping 8.2 per cent.
Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors closed higher, with heavyweight technology and consumer discretionary both finishing up 2.2 per cent while communication services rising 1.4 per cent.
The only declining sector was utilities which ended the session down 0.9 per cent.
Moderna Inc closed up 6.3 per cent after the drugmaker submitted a request to the US Food and Drug Administration to allow for a second booster of its COVID-19 vaccine.
Shares of Boeing Co finished up 1.4 per cent after reports the planemaker was edging toward a landmark order from Delta Air Lines for up to 100 of its 737 MAX 10 jets.
But shares in US delivery firm FedEx Corp slumped almost 4 per cent after a weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings report.