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Stock Market News for May 18, 2022

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Major U.S. benchmarks closed higher on Tuesday driven by a rally in growth stocks, while some impressive economic data eased worries of an economic slowdown. All the three major indexes ended in positive territory.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) climbed 1.3% or 431.17 points to end at 32,654.59 points, recording its third consecutive day of gains.

The S&P 500 rose 2% or 80.84 points to close at 4,088.85 points. Almost all the sectors did well with, technology, materials and financial stocks leading the rally.

The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) and the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) advanced 2.8% and 2.7%, respectively. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) gained 2.9%. Ten of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 2.8% or 321.73 points to finish at 11,984.52 points.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 4.99% to 26.10. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.92-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 3.19-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues. A total of 12 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 13.3 billion.

Investors Buy on the Dip

Markets bounced back on Tuesday despite existing worries of rising inflation and fears of an economic slowdown. However, investors decided to buy on the dip on Tuesday, helping major indexes finish in the green. Tuesday’s rally was led by the beaten-down growth stocks.

Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) gained 2.5%, while Meta Platforms, Inc. rose 1.3%. Also, financial stocks performed well. Shares of Citigroup Inc. (C - Free Report) jumped 7.6%, while Paramount Global (PARA - Free Report) surged 15.4% after Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK-B) disclosed its share in both the companies. Citigroup carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The broad rally on Tuesday came after weeks of selling on the US stock market, which last week saw the S&P 500 fall to its lowest level since March 2021. However, concerns over rising interest rates and Fed’s aggressive stance to curb inflation have continued to dent investors’ confidence.

The Dow has now ended in the red for the seventh consecutive week, recording its longest weekly decline since 2001. The S&P 500 is also coming off a six-week-long losing streak. On a year-to-date basis, the Dow and S&P 500 are down 10.1% and 14.2%, respectively.

Also, a strong set of impressive economic data released on Tuesday lifted investors’ spirits, resulting in a broad market rally.

Economic Data

Retail Sales came in impressive for the month of April. The Commerce Department said that retail sales increased 0.9% in April, marginally missing economists’ expectations of a rise of 1.1%. April’s gains come despite worries about rising commodity prices. However, the consumer still seems to be strong as higher demand is driving sales.

The positive retail sales data helped ease some of the worries on Tuesday, sending stocks on a rally.

In other economic data released on Tuesday, industrial production increased 1.1% in April, surpassing expectations of a rise of 0.5%.


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