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Stock Market News for Mar 31, 2023

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U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, with tech stocks extending their recent strong run as fears of a liquidity crisis spilling over in the banking sector eased, giving a boost to investors’ confidence. All three major indexes ended in positive territory.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 0.4% or 141.43 points to end at 32,859.03 points.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.6% or 23.02 points to finish at 4,050.83 points. Tech and real estate stocks were the biggest gainers for the second straight day

The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) jumped 1.2%, while the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE) gained 1.3%. The Consumer Discretionary Sector SPDR (XLY) gained 0.9%. Ten of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.7% or 87.24 points to close at 12,013.47 points.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 0.52% to 19.02. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.70-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.18-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues. A total of 10.36 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 12.68 billion.

Fears of Banking Crisis Fade

Wall Street has been mostly trading higher this week. The strong run led by tech stocks in the previous trading session continued on Thursday also on waning banking-sectors fears and impressive economic data.

Investors are a lot more confident now. Tech stocks continued their recent strong run through Thursday, which helped the Nasdaq close 17.6% up from its bear-market low attained on Dec 28, 2022. The index now needs to hit 12,255.95 points to enter a new bull market.

Big tech companies like, Inc. ((AMZN - Free Report) ) and Apple, Inc. ((AAPL - Free Report) ) jumped on Thursday. Shares of Amazon and Apple rose 1.8% and 1%, respectively. Chip stocks also scored big. Shares of NVIDIA Corporation ((NVDA - Free Report) ) increased 1.5%. NVIDIA has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Also, cyclical sectors like financials, industrials and materials, which took a bad hit in recent weeks bounced back and drove the rally on Thursday.

Investors are now waiting for the key Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCI) reading that is due on Friday. This will help them assess how much more the Fed plans to hike rate and for how long in its fight to bring down inflation.

Economic Data

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that revised data showed the U.S. GDP grew at an annualized rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2022, which was slightly lower than 2.7% seen in the earlier estimate.

The Labor Department reported that jobless claims totaled 198,000 for the week ending Mar 25, increasing 7,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 191,000. The four-week moving average was 198,250, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 196,250.

Continuing claims came in at 1,689,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1,685,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,691,750 an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's revised average of 1,681,750.

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