Stocks gained further ground on Wall Street on Friday, with the S&P 500 having its best day in two years and just its second positive week in the previous 12 weeks, providing some respite from the market’s harsh sell-off this year.
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The benchmark index increased by 3.1%, with technology and banking leading the way. The S&P 500 gained 6.4% for the week, reversing a devastating loss from the previous week, while it remains about 20% behind its early-year high.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 3.3%. Both indices likewise reported weekly gains that more than offset their losses the previous week.
Stocks rallied this week as pressure from rising Treasury yields lets up somewhat and investors speculate the Federal Reserve may not have to be as aggressive about raising interest rates as earlier thought as it fights to control inflation.
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The S&P 500 rose 116.01 points to 3,911.74. The Dow climbed 823.32 points to 31,500.68. The Nasdaq rose 375.43 points to 11,607.62. Smaller company stocks also rallied. The Russell 2000 rose 54.06 points, or 3.2%, to 1,765.74.
That’s helped yields in the Treasury market recede. The yield on the two-year Treasury, which tends to move with expectations for the Fed’s actions, dropped back to 3.06% from more than 3.40% in the middle of last week.
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The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which forms the bedrock for the world’s financial system, rose to 3.13% on Friday from 3.07% late Thursday. But it also has moderated after hitting 3.48% last week. It started the year just a bit above 1.50%.
A separate economic report on Friday showed sales of new homes unexpectedly accelerated last month. But the trend for housing has largely been lower because it’s at the leading edge of the Fed’s hikes.
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The vast majority of Wall Street was heading in the opposite direction. More than 95% of the stocks in the S&P 500 closed higher.
Travel-related stocks were among the biggest gainers Friday. Cruise operator Carnival rose 12.4% after it reported weaker results for its most recent quarter than analysts expected, but also said that booking trends are improving. Royal Caribbean jumped 15.8% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. United Airlines rose 7.5%, while Wynn Resorts climbed 12.1%.