S&P 500 Soars: Stock-Market Rally Pushes Index Toward 7 Consecutive Wins

U.S. stocks showed a small uptick on Friday and continued a noteworthy upward trend, which was attributed to signs of a potential decrease in inflation and improved job prospects.

What’s happening

  • The stock market’s performance, as indicated by the DJIA, saw a rise of 0.2% or 80 points, leading to a value of 34,487.
  • The value of the S&P 500 index (also known as SPX) rose by 0.2%, which is equivalent to 10 points, and reached a value of 4,436.
  • The Nasdaq Composite increased by 15 points which is equivalent to a 0.1% rise and is presently being traded at 13,797.

What’s driving the market

The S&P 500 saw its sixth consecutive increase on Thursday, marking the longest period of consecutive gains since November 2021. At the same time, the Nasdaq attained its peak level since March 2022, and the Dow ended the day with its highest closing price since December 2nd.

The rise in stock prices occurred after a second rise in the number of people losing employment. Stephen Innes, who works at SPI Asset Management, said that although the latest economic data was varied, the increase in people losing their jobs indicated a weaker job market and a less assertive Federal Reserve. Investors are now more focused on economic data relating to job figures and inflation, rather than solely relying on the advice of the Fed for the July FOMC meeting. Two Federal Reserve officials also discussed how failures in the banking sector could affect the decision to increase interest rates. Christopher Waller suggested that this issue could still influence the central bank’s decisions.

Tom Barkin, the President of the Richmond Federal Reserve, has stated that he refuses to back the proposal of putting an end to interest rate hikes unless he is fully persuaded that inflation is decreasing at a substantially more rapid pace, as he believes that it remains at an unsatisfactory level.

During a speech in Maryland on Friday, Barkin restated that the goal for inflation is 2%. He expressed skepticism about the potential situation where a decrease in demand causes inflation to quickly return to that goal. If upcoming data does not support that narrative, Barkin is willing to take further measures, but he does not have a vote in the Fed’s interest rate-setting committee this year.

As per Citi’s international experts, the significant increase of 15% in the S&P 500 index, due to the performance of leading tech firms, should not discourage investors. They argue that a limited control by certain companies in the market does not warrant selling, and throughout history, the stock exchange has usually shown greater results after such instances.

The value of the US dollar in relation to the Japanese yen (USDJPY, 0.72%) reached its highest point in seven months due to the Bank of Japan’s decision to not make any changes to its interest rate policies. Following the rate cuts made by China on Thursday, the Hang Seng (HK:HSI) continued to increase and has now fully recovered from the losses it suffered in May.

BlackRock has filed for a bitcoin investment fund to be available to the public, while the worth of Bitcoin (BTCUSD) has exceeded $25,000.

Companies in focus

  • The shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE) significantly increased by 39% after the company declared that it will commence offering space travel services to the general public in the present month.
  • After the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority gave the go-ahead for Amazon.com Inc.’s acquisition of iRobot Corp for $1.7 billion, the shares of iRobot Corp saw a significant increase of 19.5%.
  • After announcing record quarterly earnings of $4.82 billion, Adobe Inc.’s (ADBE) stock rose by 2.5% and surpassed $500. The company also forecasted strong sales for the current quarter.
  • The restaurant franchise, CAVA, which is known for its quick Mediterranean cuisine, saw a rise of more than 3% in its value when it made its debut on Wall Street on Thursday. During the opening of shares, the offered price for selling its shares was surpassed by 90%. By the end of the day, the stock had drastically increased by 99% and eventually ended at $43.78.

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