Wall Street ended lower on Friday as a barrage of mixed economic data appeared to affirm another Federal Reserve interest rate hike, dampening investor enthusiasm after a series of big U.S. bank earnings launched first-quarter reporting season. The TSX closed slightly higher.
All three major U.S. stock indexes ended in the red, but well off session lows. On the heels of Thursday’s robust rally, all three major U.S. stock indexes notched weekly gains.
“Today we’re taking bit of a breather,” said Sal Bruno, chief investment officer at IndexIQ in New York. “After yesterday’s sharp move up, the market might have gotten a little ahead of itself.”
Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co beat earnings expectations, benefiting from rising interest rates and easing fears of stress in the banking system.
“As expected, the bigger banks were probably not harmed that much by the regional banking turmoil, and possibly even beneficiaries of it,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird in Louisville, Kentucky. “We saw mostly strong and healthy balance sheets, and it’s pretty clear (the regional banking) crisis isn’t systemic.”
The S&P 500 banking sector jumped 3.5% and JPMorgan Chase surged 7.6%, its biggest one-day percentage gain since Nov. 9, 2020.
Citigroup advanced 4.8% while Wells Fargo edged 0.1% lower.
But a slew of mixed economic data including retail sales, industrial production and consumer sentiment cemented expectations that the Fed will hike rates another 25 basis points at next month’s policy meeting.
“Industrial production and capacity utilization came in stronger than expected,” Bruno added. “Both point to an economy that still has some vibrancy, which gives Fed cover to continue its rate hike policy in May possibly into June.”
Those expectations were underscored by Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, who said another 25 basis point hike could allow the Fed to end its tightening cycle, even as Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee called for the central bank to be prudent.
At last glance, financial markets have priced in a 74% likelihood of that happening, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.
Canada’s main stock index edged up to its highest closing level in six weeks, helped by gains for energy and financial shares, while weaker gold prices drove down mining stocks.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 15.42 points, or 0.1%, to 20,579.91, its highest closing level since March 3. For the week, it was up 1.9%, its fourth straight week of gains.
The heavily weighted financials sector added 0.2%, tracking gains for big U.S. banks after they reported earnings.
“The read through to Canada is largely from the banks (in the U.S.),” said Brian Madden, chief investment officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel.
“It is good news for the Canadian banks in general because they have operations in the United States, so that should bode well for their results in their U.S. operations.”
Energy advanced 0.3% as oil added to recent gains. It settled 0.4% higher at $82.52 a barrel after the West’s energy watchdog said global demand will hit a record high this year on the back of a recovery in Chinese consumption.
Technology was also a bright spot, rising 0.8%, but the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, was a drag.
Materials ended down 0.8% as fading hopes of an early pause in the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hiking cycle weighed on the price of gold.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 143.22 points, or 0.42%, to 33,886.47; the S&P 500 lost 8.58 points, or 0.21%, at 4,137.64; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 42.81 points, or 0.35%, to 12,123.47.
Among the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, seven ended the session lower, with real estate falling most. Financials enjoyed the biggest percentage jump, advancing 1.1%.
First-quarter earnings season hits full stride next week, with results expected from several high profile companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp, Netflix Inc and a long list of regional banks and industrials.
Analysts have lowered expectations, forecasting aggregate S&P 500 earnings having fallen by 4.8% from a year ago, a reversal of the 1.4% year-on-year gain seen at the beginning of the quarter, according to Refinitiv.
BlackRock Inc rose 3.1% after the world’s largest asset manager beat quarterly profit expectations.
Boeing Co slid 5.6% after the planemaker halted deliveries of some 737 MAXs due to a supplier quality problem attributed to Spirit AeroSystems, whose shares fell 20.7%.
Shares of Lucid Group Inc dropped 6.3% following the luxury electric automaker’s disappointing first-quarter production and delivery numbers.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 2.01-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.07-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 47 new highs and 205 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.98 billion shares, compared with the 11.31 billion average over the last 20 trading days.
Reuters, Globe staff
Also see: Stocks seeing action on Friday - and why
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