S&P 500 ends higher, led by defensive stocks

S&P 500 ends higher, led by defensive stocks

  • Fed’s Collins sees 75 basis point hike on the table
  • Grindr enters the market
  • Spread shares rise on optimistic results
  • Indices up: Dow 0.59%, S&P 0.48%, Nasdaq 0.01%

Nov 18 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended higher in a choppy trading session on Friday as gains in defensive stocks overshadowed a drop in energy and investors ignored hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials on interest rate hikes.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston chief Susan Collins said that with little evidence that price pressures are easing, the Fed may have to make another 75 basis point rate hike as it seeks to control inflation.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard sparked a decline in stocks on Thursday when he said the Fed needed to keep raising interest rates given that its tightening so far “doesn’t had only limited effects on observed inflation”.

With Collins and then Bullard “we had some very hawkish discussions, but the market really went with it,” said Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer at Trust Advisory Services. “He hasn’t hit the market on the downside like he has in the past.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 199.37 points, or 0.59%, to 33,745.69, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 18.78 points, or 0.48%, to 3,965.34 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 1.11 points, or 0.01%, to 11,146.06.

For the week, the S&P 500 fell 0.7%, pulling back slightly after a strong month-long rally spurred by weaker-than-expected inflation data that raised hopes the central bank might temper its rate hikes. penalizing for the market.

The Nasdaq fell 1.6% for the week, while the Dow Jones was virtually unchanged.

“Markets are a bit on hold” ahead of employment and other economic data, said Lauren Goodwin, economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Brenda McDermid/File Photo

“What drives all stocks, of course, is Fed policy and the gravitational pull that rising interest rates have on the stock complex as a whole,” Goodwin said. “We probably won’t see any real evidence in terms of a potential drop in wage pressure or inflationary pressure for a few weeks.”

Defensive groups led the way among S&P 500 sectors, with utilities (.SPLRCU) up 2%, real estate (.SPLRCR) up 1.3% and healthcare (.SPXHC) in 1.2% increase.

The energy sector (.SPNY) fell 0.9% as oil prices tumbled on concerns over weaker demand in China and further U.S. interest rate hikes .

In corporate news, shares of gay dating app Grindr soared around 214% on their market debut after the company completed its merger with a special-purpose acquisition company.

Shares of Gap Inc rose 7.6% after the company beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales and earnings.

Shares of Live Nation Entertainment (LYV.N) fell 7.8% after The New York Times reported that the US Department of Justice was investigating whether Ticketmaster’s parent company abused its power over the multi-billion dollar live music industry.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.54 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.13 to 1 favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 8 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 62 new highs and 141 new lows.

About 9.7 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, compared to the daily average of 12 billion over the past 20 sessions.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York, Shubham Batra, Ankika Biswas and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi, Arun Koyyur and Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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