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Stock Market News for Sep 15, 2023

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Wall Street closed higher on Thursday on a batch of encouraging economic data and a major IPO. Investors remained confident that the Fed would not raise interest rates in its September meeting. All of the three major stock indexes ended in the green.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) advanced 1% or 331.58 points to close at 34,907.11. Twenty-six components of the 30-stock index ended in positive territory, while four ended in negative.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 112.47 points or 0.8% to 13,926.05.

The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, or 37.66 points, to end at 4,505.10. All 11 broad sectors of the benchmark index closed in the green. The Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE), the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) and the Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) gained 1.8%, 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 4.9% to 12.82. A total of 10 billion shares were traded on Thursday, higher than the last 20-session average of 9.9 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the S&P 500 by a 6.5-to-1 ratio.

SoftBank’s Chip Unit Impresses on Debut and Drives the Market

Arm Holdings plc, which happens to be SoftBank Group Corp.’s (SFTBY - Free Report) chip designing unit, surged 29.8% during its initial public offering on Thursday. Arm opened at a valuation of almost $60 billion and sold about 95.5 million shares. SoftBank, which took the company private in 2016, controls about 90% of shares outstanding. On Thursday, the stock first opened at $56.10 per share and ended the day at $63.59.

This strong Nasdaq debut indicates the confidence that other companies might need to list their shares, and is a great boost for the capital markets. The semiconductor industry’s boom continues to drive the market in 2023.

Hot But Expected Economic Data Restore Investor Confidence

On Thursday, a slew of released economic numbers addressed investor apprehension about the Fed raising interest rates in the near future. Even as producer-side inflation, jobless claims and retail sales numbers ticked higher, they were within the expected range, and it is now more than likely that the Fed will not be raising interest rates in its next meeting.

The Labor Department said on Thursday that initial jobless claims rose to 220,000, increasing 3,000 for the week ending Sep 9 from the previous week. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 216,000 to 217,000. The four-week moving average decreased to 224,500, marking a fall of 5,000 from the previous week. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 to 229,500.

Continuing claims came in at 1,688,000 for the week ending Sep 2, increasing 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week's numbers were revised up by 5,000 from 1,679,000 to 1,684,000. The four-week moving average was 1,697,000, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,250 from 1,701,500 to 1,702,750.

The Labor Department reported that the Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand increased 0.7% in August, seasonally adjusted, after rising 0.4% in July. The August advance is the largest increase in final demand prices since moving up 0.9% in June 2022.

The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade services, better known as core PPI, increased 0.3% in August, the same as in July.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Retail Sales for August had increased 0.6%. For July, the reported number was revised down to an increase of 0.5% from the previously reported 0.7%.

With the general consensus being that interest rate hikes had been successfully warded off for the time being, the Dow index closed its biggest winning day since early August, and the market gained in general.

Consequently, shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH - Free Report) and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS - Free Report) gained 5.7% and 2.9%, respectively. Each carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Economic Data

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Business Inventories for July remained unchanged. For June, the reported number was revised down to a decrease of 0.1% from the previously reported “unchanged”.

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