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Stock Market News for May 16, 2022

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U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday, paring some of the losses suffered over the week that saw volatile trading as investors feared that the Fed’s aggressive stance to check inflation could push the economy into recession. All the major indexes ended in positive territory.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 1.5% or 466.36 points to end at 32,196.66 points.

The S&P 500 climbed 2.4% or 93.81 points to close at 4,023.89 points after it almost came close to entering the bear territory. However, the index recorded its best day since Mar 4. Consumer discretionary, energy and tech stocks were the best performers.

The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) gained 3.9% and 3.4%, respectively. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) rose 3.3%. All the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 3.8% or 434.04 points to finish at 11,805 points, recording its biggest single-day gain since November 2020.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 9.31% to 28.87. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 3.73-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.91-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues. A total of 13.32 billion shares were traded on Friday, higher than the last 20-session average of 13.17 billion.

Markets Bounce Back Finally

Investors have been worrying about the aggressive stance adopted by the Fed to get a grip on surging inflation. They now feel that policy tightening of the Fed could push the economy into recession. This has been a growing concern for months now which has seen the high-growth tech and tech-adjacent stocks taking a massive beating from the beginning of the year.

This saw volatile trade almost throughout the week. However, things looked somewhat changed a bit on Friday, as stocks made a comeback despite the negative sentiment ruling investors’ minds. Friday’s rally was led by technology, energy and consumer discretionary stocks.

Shares of Meta Platforms, Inc. gained 3.9%, while Apple, Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL - Free Report) gained 3.2% and 2.8%, respectively. Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Semiconductor stocks, NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) gained 9.5%, while Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD - Free Report) jumped 9.3%.

Despite Friday’s gains, investors are deeply concerned about the nation’s economic growth. On Thursday, Jerome Powell was confirmed as the Fed Chair by the U.S. Senate for a second term. He echoed the sentiments of the central bank’s determination to fight inflation but also said that he believes that the economy may still avoid slipping into recession. This also somewhat lifted investors’ sentiment sending the beaten-down stocks into a rally.

No major economic data was released on Friday.

Weekly Roundup

Friday’s rally was a sigh of relief for investors but the major averages still posted losses for the week. The Dow ended down 2.1% for the week, recording its first seven-week losing streak since April 2020.

The S&P 500 closed down 2.4% for the week, posting its longest weekly losing streak since 2011. The Nasdaq lost 2.8% for the week.