US stocks rallied on Friday, closing out the week on an upbeat note, led by strong gains in the tech sector.
The S&P 500 (^GSPC) finished Friday up 1.9%, though it still closed the week down 0.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) increased 1.0% on Friday. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) closed up 2.9%, its biggest one-day gain since the end of November.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note rose to 3.482% from 3.397% Thursday. The dollar index was little changed.
The moves up Friday closed out what had been a rough week for Wall Street. Stocks had extended a string of losses Thursday as investors dissected economic data and corporate earnings reports, clouding their views of the health of the US economy.
Despite concerns about the economy, markets have been fairly resilient and moved mostly higher this year, according to the US Market Intelligence team at JP Morgan. However, the team doesn’t believe a recession is currently priced in in equity markets.
“We do not agree with the argument that because a recession is consensus,” the team wrote, “The market and economic outcome have to be better.”
The S&P 500 is expected to report a year-over-year decline in earnings of 3.9% for the fourth quarter, according to data from FactSet Research. This would mark the first year-over-year decline in earnings reported by the index since 2020 if realized.
Wall Street navigated another round of data and Fedspeak toward the end of the week that provided mixed signals on the central bank’s next move. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said Thursday the central bank has more rate hikes ahead “to bring inflation down to our 2% goal on a sustained basis.”
Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan Collins expressed similar remarks Thursday ahead of the Fed’s next monetary policy meeting, which starts Jan. 31.
However, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker repeated his view on Friday morning to shift to 25-basis-point rate hikes, while Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said Friday that he too favors a quarter-percentage-point interest rate increase at the next meeting.
On the economic front, sales of previously owned US homes fell for the 11th consecutive month in December, extending the record decline further as high mortgage rates and limited inventory stifled affordability.
Contract closings decreased 1.5% from November’s reading, to an annualized pace of 4.02 million last month, according to data from the National Association of Realtors on Friday. The number of homes available for sale fell to 970,000 in the month, with the median selling price 2.3% from a year earlier.
In corporate news, Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings announced Thursday that he is stepping down. After a two-decade run, he’s leaving the streaming platform in the hands of co-CEO Ted Sarandos and COO Greg Peters after reporting a strong end of 2022.
And the era of password sharing will end soon. The streaming giant will be enforcing password-sharing rules “more broadly” toward the end of the first quarter of 2023, Netflix announced in its earnings report on Thursday. Shares jumped nearly 8% Friday.
Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL), meanwhile, said it’s laying off 12,000 workers, or more than 6% of its global workforce, becoming the latest tech company to trim staff after rapid expansions during the pandemic. Google parent Alphabet Inc. shares added nearly 6% on Friday.
Fanatics is in talks to acquire the BetParx sportsbook, CNBC reported. The company is looking to expand its footprint in the sports betting industry.
In the commodities market, oil prices ticked up. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose nearly 1.3% to $83.99 a barrel, and WTI, the US benchmark, added 1.45% to settle at about $81.78. Both ended the week with another gain, driven by optimism about demand rebound in China.
Meanwhile, in the crypto market, Genesis Global Capital filed for bankruptcy protection late Thursday in US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The move comes after the company could not raise cash for its troubled lending unit and cut 30% of staff in a fresh round of layoffs in early January.
Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @daniromerotv
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