Stocks are trading higher in morning trading on Wall Street Friday and it is headed for its second gaining week in the last 12 in a reprieve from its brutal sell-off this year.
The S&P 500 was 2% higher in early trading. It is heading towards a 5.7% gain for the week, however, it’s still around 20% below its record set early this year and hasn’t recovered this loss from the prior week, which was its worst since the early days of the 2020 coronavirus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 2% up at 31,283.27 as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern time zone. The Nasdaq composite was 277.33 points or 2.4% higher at 11,509.52.
Stocks have surged this week as pressure from rising Treasury yields lets up somewhat and investors project the Federal Reserve may not have to be as aggressive about hiking interest rates as earlier thought.
It’s all provided some relief from Wall Street’s tumble through most of the year, caused by the Fed and other central banks pulling back the extensive support fed into markets through the pandemic. In attempts to control the decades high inflation, central banks have increased interest rates and made other moves that hurt prices for investments and threaten to slow the economy enough to cause a recession.
Some sectors of the US economy are still red-hot, particularly the jobs market, but some discouraging signals have emerged recently. According to a report by the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment fell to its lowest point, particularly affected by high inflation. Another report suggested US manufacturing and services sectors aren’t as strong as economists thought.
Such weakening data raise concerns about the health of the economy. But they also can be good for financial markets, as paradoxical as that may seem. The weakness indicates less upward pressure on inflation, which would ultimately mean the Federal Reserve doesn’t have to hike rates so aggressively.
The yield on the two-year Treasury, which tends to move with expectations for the Fed’s actions, has declined to 3.05% from more than 3.40% in the middle of last week, though it rose Friday.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which sets the bedrock of the world’s financial system, rose to 3.12% on Friday from 3.07% late Thursday. Earlier this year, it more than doubled after starting 2022 a little above 1.50%.