NEW YORK, RAW – Wall Street ended higher at the close of a broad rally, an upbeat conclusion to whipsaw week of buying and selling as signs of a rebounding economy did battle with mounting inflation jitters.
All three major US indexes built on Thursday’s gains, in which the S&P 500 notched its biggest one-day percentage bump in over a month.
“Today ‘everything is going up day’ because everyone is buying,” said Chuck Carlson, senior vice president at Wealthspire Advisors, in New York.
“It’s a ‘buy everything’ day.”
Still, the indexes suffered their biggest weekly declines since late February.
“This week, given the big swings, is more evident of a trader’s environment than a long-term investor’s environment,” Carlson added.
“It’s a market looking for its next sustained impulse to the upside.”
Those big swings were stoked by economic data, which fanned concerns that near-term price spikes could translate into long-term inflation, despite assurances to the contrary from the US Federal Reserve.
“Inflation continues to be the biggest concern,” Carlson added.
“And when interest rates didn’t go to new highs the bulls take over and investors are willing to step in and buy some of the stocks that had been beaten up this week.”
Economic data showed retail sales growth stalling and consumer sentiment dipping as prices remain on an upward trajectory, suggesting that while the demand boom might be taking a breather, inflation has not.
But in an indication that economic activity could return to normal, revised guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 359.3 points, or 1.06 per cent, to 34,380.75, the S&P 500 gained 61.24 points, or 1.49 per cent, to 4,173.74 and the Nasdaq Composite added 304.99 points, or 2.32 per cent, to 13,429.98.
All 11 major S&P sectors ended the session green, with energy, boosted by rebounding crudes prices, enjoying the largest percentage gain.
Chips gave a lift to the technology sector, extending gains in the wake of a Reuters report that US lawmakers are close to unveiling a $US52 billion ($A67 billion) proposal to aid US microchip production.
First-quarter earnings season is nearing its final curtain, with 457 constituents of the S&P 500 having posted results.
Of those, 87 per cent have beaten consensus estimates, according to Refinitiv IBES.
Major retailers Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Lowe’s and others are on the docket next week.
Analysts now expect annual S&P earnings growth of 50.6 per cent, in aggregate, for the Jan-March period, more than triple the rate forecast at the beginning of the quarter, per Refinitiv.
Walt Disney Co shares dropped after the subscriber additions to its streaming service fell short of expectations.
Airbnb Inc reported a 52 per cent jump in bookings as vaccinations spark rising holiday rental demand, driving its stock higher.