Wall Street stocks closed up broadly on Thursday, as investors rejoiced at strong quarterly results from Macy's (and other retailers).
The S&P 500 gained 2%, and is now on track for its first weekly gain following seven consecutive losses. This streak has been the longest since 2001.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.6%, while the Nasdaq gained 2.7%. Bullishness in the economy also showed strong gains for smaller companies stocks.
Bond yields increased. The 10-year Treasury yield, which is used to set mortgage interest rates, increased to 2.75%, from 2.74% on Wednesday.
The S&P 500 saw roughly 90% of stocks rise, led by technology companies, banks, and retailers. Despite trading being choppy this week the market has pushed higher than the previous five weeks when the S&P 500 suffered a pullback of 2% to 3% at least one day.
Liz Young, SoFi's head of investment strategy, said, "It's nice seeing a few days in the green. And this might end up being our first week without a humongous day." "But I wouldn’t declare victory prematurely and assume that we’re in the clear."
The S&P 500 gained 79.11 points, or 4.057.84. The Dow gained 516.91 points, to 32,637.19; the Nasdaq gained 305.91 to 11,740.65.
The Russell 2000 index of small companies rose 39.07 points or 2.2% to 1,838.24
The broader market was led by retailers on Thursday. Macy's surged 19.3% following an increase in its profit forecast for the year after strong financial results from the first quarter. Dollar General soared 13.7%, while Dollar Tree jumped 21.9% to make the largest gain in the S&P 500. This was after discount retailers reported strong earnings and provided investors with optimistic forecasts.
Investors are closely monitoring the retail sector to see how much inflation is causing consumers and companies. A volatile market was rattled by weak reports last week from several large companies, including Walmart and Target.
Philip Orlando, Federated Hermes' chief equity market strategist, said that "we're not convinced we're out of the woods here." "There were many negative reports last week, and what these companies have discussed is the state of the economy.
Inflation has reached a 4-decade high. Businesses have increased costs for everything, from food and clothing to offset rising costs. Inflation pressures were exacerbated by Russia's invasion in Ukraine. This resulted in higher energy costs and increased food commodity prices. As China tried to control COVID-19 cases, China locked down several cities in China, causing supply chain problems.
Although consumers have shown resilience in their spending habits, inflation pressures remain persistent. This could lead to a shift or pullback in consumer spending away from more costly items to necessities.
These broad gains were triggered by a Wednesday late push that prompted markets to move on Wednesday. Details from the Federal Reserve's most recent meeting confirmed market expectations of further interest rate increases.