Stocks rise after Wednesday’s sell-off

US stocks rose, putting Wall Street indices on track to recoup some of Wednesday’s losses, while oil prices hovered around recent highs.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% in early trading on Thursday, a day after falling 1.2%. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2%.

Stocks have struggled this year amid rising inflation, mixed economic signals, the war in ukraine, and the ongoing disruptions of the pandemic. The S&P 500 is down 6% so far this year, with the Nasdaq down 11%, in its longest bear market since 2008.

That drop, however, comes on the back of a long rally. Wednesday marked the second anniversary of the pandemic lows for US stocks. Since then, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have doubled, while the Dow Jones has risen nearly 90%.

Investors have grappled with how Russia’s war with Ukraine will put additional pressure on supply chains already disrupted by Covid-19. Oil prices, which remain above $100 a barrel, have added to concerns that consumers could see higher energy prices and even products like plastic wrap or lawn fertilizer. Federal Reserve officials have penciled in a series of additional measures interest rate increases to limit inflation this year.

US crude fell 1.2% to $113.58 a barrel.

“Until mid-February, it was all about raising rates, and then it was all about the war, and the worrying thing now is that they were combined,” said Daniel Morris, chief market strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management. “The challenge in this environment is what you buy. You can’t sit on cash. It’s a ‘least bad option’ kind of market.”

WSJ’s Dion Rabouin explains why Wall Street is now betting big on cryptocurrencies and what that means for the new asset class and its future. Photo Composition: Elizabeth Smelov

Among the individual shares, the shares of

Nicholas

rose 12% after the company confirmed it has started production of its electric commercial truck, the Tre.

Uber

rose 3.3% after saying it would list all taxis in New York City in your app.

Russia’s stock market jumped in its first limited trading session since the West unveiled punitive sanctions almost a month ago. The benchmark MOEX index added around 4%.

The increase is unlikely to be interpreted as a sign that all is well with the Russian economy. Only 33 shares of the 50 shares in the index were allowed to trade. To prevent a sell-off, Russia’s central bank banned short sales and blocked foreigners, who make up a large part of the market, from selling their shares.

The move will also help prevent the ruble from weakening, as foreign investors would likely sell their ruble-denominated shares and then exchange the ruble for the dollar or euro. Russia’s currency has trimmed some of its losses against the dollar in recent sessions, trading at 98 rubles per dollar on Thursday.

In bond markets, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.367% from 2.320% on Wednesday. Yields and prices move inversely.

Traders worked the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.


Photo:

BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Overseas, the pancontinental Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.2%. Asia’s major indices closed with a mixed performance. China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.9%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 added nearly 0.3%.

New orders for durable goods (products designed to last at least three years) fell 2.2% in February from the previous month, after auto production was again held back by supply chain bottlenecks. and

boeing.

had a relatively weak month for aircraft orders.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 187,000 in the week ending March 19, down from 215,000 the previous week.

Email Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

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