Friday, March 18, 2022

DJIA: 34,754.93, up 274.17
S&P 500: 4,463.12, up 51.45
Nasdaq: 13,893.84, up 279.06

Stocks cap best week since November 2020

U.S. equities finished firmly higher on Friday, with Wall Street extending the week’s robust rally. The S&P 500 climbed 1.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite surged 2.1%. Both benchmarks notched their best weekly performance since November 2020, with the broad index capping a 6.2% weekly advance and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite posting a 8.2% five-day gain. The Dow reversed earlier losses to jump 274 points, snapping a five-week losing streak with a 5.5% weekly gain.

Headlines around Russia and Ukraine negotiations garnered attention, despite no incremental progress being reported. Meanwhile, a highly anticipated phone call between Chinese President Xi and U.S. President Biden reportedly called on each country to promote peace in Eastern Europe.

Market participants also weighed hawkish commentary from Federal Reserve (Fed) officials. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard voiced support for the benchmark rate hitting 3%, or the equivalent of at least twelve 0.25% rate hikes this year. Minnesota Fed President Neel Kashkari (widely viewed as one of the more dovish members) said he sees seven rate hikes in 2022. On the data front, the leading index of economic indicators rebounded to 0.3% in February after falling 0.5% in January. Treasuries strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year note dropping six basis points (0.06%) to 2.14%, still ending the week 14 basis points (0.14%) higher.

Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in positive territory, with Utilities the lone laggard. Information Technology and Consumer Discretionary shares rallied more than 2%, as growth-oriented shares outperformed. In corporate news, FedEx Corp slid 4% after missing earnings estimates.

Read more about it here.