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Stock Market News for Mar 25, 2022

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U.S. stocks bounced back on Thursday as investors digested Fed official’s remarks while some impressive jobs data lifted investors’ confidence. The rally was led by tech stocks. Investors also closely monitored the meeting of world leaders at Brussels on how to compel Russia to halt its invasion on Ukraine. All the three major indexes ended in positive territory.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 1% or 349.44 points to finish at 34,707.94 points.

The S&P 500 added 1.4% or 63.92 points to close at 4,520.16 points. Tech and communication stocks were the best performers.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) and the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR (XLC) gained 2.6%, 1.6%, respectively. All the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.9% or 269.23 points to close at 14,191.84 points.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 8.06% to 21.67. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.96-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.03-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues. A total of 11.03 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 14.3 billion.

Investors Regain Confidence

After Wednesday’s sell-off, investors started Thursday on a fresh note. It has so far been a volatile week this week. Investors also closely watched as President Joe Biden met with other world leaders in Brussels to find out possible ways to convince Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine. Also, the White House rolled out another set of sanctions against Russia to create pressure on Vladimir Putin to withdraw his forces from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, investors also digested comments from several Fed officials about rising inflation and the eventual rate hires. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said that there could be as many as seven 25-basis points rate hikes this year. However, he also warned that too many rate hikes could pose danger.

Markets have been volatile ever since the first round of rate hike was announced last week. However, investors held their patience and confidence on Thursday. Meanwhile, investors sentiment got a boost after data showed that jobless claims fell to a 52-year low.

The beaten down tech stocks had many takers on Thursday as they bought on the dip, send stocks on a rally. Shares of Meta Platforms, Inc. climbed 2.9%, while Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) gained 2.3%. Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT - Free Report) shares rose 1.5%. Apple has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Economic Data

The Labor Department said on Thursday that initial jobless claims fell to 187,000, decreasing 28,000 for the week ending Mar 19. This is the lowest level since Sep 6, 1969. The four-week moving average also decreased to 211,750, a decrease of 11,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 223,250.

Continuing claims came in at 1,350,000, decreasing 67,000 from previous week’s revised level, the lowest level since Jan 3, 1970. The previous week's numbers were revised down by 2,000 from 1,419,000 to 1,417,000. The 4-week moving average came in at 1,431,500, a decrease of 31,000 from the previous week's revised average.

In other economic data, durable goods orders fell 2.2% to $271.5 billion.

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