On Friday, the S&P 500 closed out its second winning week, despite recent interest rate hikes and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In fact, all of the major averages saw increases. The S&P closed the final day of the workweek at 4,543.06, or 0.5 percent higher. The S&P is nearly 3.9 percent higher thus far in March and has erased its recent losses.
The Dow also ended Friday on a high note. The benchmark rose 0.4 percent or 153.3 points, settling at 34,861.24. The Nasdaq also had small gains of 0.2 percent, ending at 14,169.30.
The market rebound is surprising given recent interest rate hikes, and the Feds promised to deliver several more in 2022. On Monday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell pledged that there would be rate highs for the remaining six policy meetings of the year. The last time the Federal Reserve raised interest rates before this year was in 2018.
Powell said some of the rate increases might be more aggressive than usual. Rather than the quarter percentage point that typically occurs, the Feds might kick it up a notch and go to half-point increases.
After Powell made the remarks, several Wall Street firms raised their rate hike expectations, including Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.
The 10-year rate hit a multi-year high of 2.5 percent on Friday. Financial stocks also saw rises as the benchmark rose. Wells Fargo rose by 2.4 percent, while Bank of America stocks saw a 1.5 percent increase.
Some technology stocks didn’t fare well, however. DocuSign fell by 3.9 percent, while Zoom dropped by 3.2 percent. The two were among the worst performers of the Nasdaq on Friday.
Still, investors did have some promising news. According to the Labor Department, last week’s first-time unemployment claims were their lowest since 1969. Economists are pointing to March posting similar numbers.
Meanwhile, investors have been keeping an eye on Europe and the Ukraine-Russia war. On Friday, the EU and the U.S. agreed to a gas deal lesson Europe’s dependency on Russian oil.