A rally in technology stocks resumed Thursday, pushing the S&P 500’s gains since an October low past 20%, the marker of a bull market.
A jump in jobless claims to the highest since October 2021 delivered a boost to the tech sector, which had been flagging under speculation the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher for longer. The jump in claims shows the labor market, while largely resilient, is starting to show signs of cooling.
“It’s still at pretty low levels in terms of initial claims. But maybe the fact that it’s perked up on a week-over-week basis gives the Fed a little bit more fodder to pause next week,” said Emily Roland, co-chief investment strategist of John Hancock Investment Management, in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York office.
The S&P 500 added 0.6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rose 1.3% as chipmakers including Nvidia Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. were among the biggest gainers amid the frenzy in stocks linked to artificial intelligence. Adobe Inc. also gained 5% on plans for a new AI subscription with copyright services.
Investors are reassessing the trajectory of Fed policy after central banks in Australia and Canada this week unexpectedly raised rates. Traders had fully priced in another hike by July on Wednesday. However, Evercore ISI’s Krishna Guha said market moves based on those central bank actions should fade.
“The Fed is the price-setter here, the others are the price-takers, and we should not confuse the two,” Guha said. “They are raising rates in part because they think the Fed will hike once more and if they fail to match this they risk FX depreciation.”
In Europe, the Stoxx 600 ended little changed with SBB, the company at the center of Sweden’s property crisis, down 12%. The group, also known as Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden AB, was sent even further into junk territory by S&P Global Ratings, a move that will worsen the already severe funding crunch.
In currencies, the yen strengthened after Japan’s economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter. The Turkish lira stabilized against the dollar after state lenders began supporting the currency again. And in commodities, oil traded in New York shed 2.1% to $71 a barrel.
Key events this week:
- China PPI, CPI, Friday
- The S&P 500 rose 0.6% as of 4:02 p.m. New York time
- The Nasdaq 100 rose 1.3%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%
- The MSCI World index fell 0.3%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.6%
- The euro rose 0.8% to $1.0781
- The British pound rose 1% to $1.2559
- The Japanese yen rose 0.9% to 138.89 per dollar
- Bitcoin rose 0.6% to $26,527.62
- Ether rose 0.3% to $1,847.31
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined eight basis points to 3.71%
- Germany’s 10-year yield declined five basis points to 2.40%
- Britain’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 4.23%
- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.1% to $71 a barrel
- Gold futures rose 1.1% to $1,979.90 an ounce
This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.