Wall Street opens wide higher, set to post weekly gains


NEW YORK — Stocks open wide higher on Wall Street, keeping the S&P 500 on track to break three-week losing streak. The benchmark was up three-quarters of a percent early Friday, while big gains for tech companies pushed the Nasdaq composite up 1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about half a percent. All 11 industrial sectors of the S&P 500 rose, including energy stocks, which halted their recent declines thanks to a rebound in oil prices. DocuSign rose sharply after the e-signature company reported strong second-quarter sales and raised its subscription forecast.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is pointing higher before the opening bell a day after comments from the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated that interest rate hikes would likely come in line with expectations.

Futures contracts for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 climbed 0.7%, putting them on track to break free after three straight weeks of losses.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday reaffirmed the central bank’s commitment to keep rates high for as long as needed to bring inflation under control. Some market watchers remain skeptical.

“Given the huge challenges ahead on the energy front, the war front and the widespread inflation that is already impacting people’s lives, it might be wiser to keep rates at low levels. slightly stimulative levels to help offset the general economic pain rather than aggravate it,” said Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities.

Stocks have lost ground in recent weeks after the Federal Reserve signaled it would continue to raise interest rates to bring down the highest inflation in decades. The interest rate policies of the Fed and other central banks have a strong influence on stock and bond markets.

Also on Thursday, the European Central Bank made its biggest ever rate hike to fight inflation. The move is in line with actions taken by the US Federal Reserve and other central banks.

In midday Europe, France’s CAC 40 gained 1.5%, while Germany’s DAX gained 1.3% and Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.5%.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to end at 28,214.75. S from Australia&P/ASX 200 added 0.7% to 6,894.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 2.8% to 19,389.03, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.8% to 3,262.05. The trade was closed in South Korea for a holiday.

“The ongoing recovery in the risk environment could provide a positive backdrop for the weekend Asian session, although Chinese equities still appear to be struggling to take advantage of the improving environment for a some relief,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

China has released a slew of economic data, with more expected next week. Interest is high due to the impact of China’s zero-COVID policy on economic activity in the world’s second-largest economy.

On the same day, the European Central Bank announced its big rate hike, Powell told a monetary policy conference hosted by the Cato Institute, a think tank that promotes libertarian ideas, that the Fed would keep rates on hold. high “until the job is done” to bring inflation back to its 2% target.

“There is a record of failed attempts to control inflation, which only increases the ultimate costs to society,” Powell said.

The Fed has already hiked rates four times this year and markets expect it to deliver another whopping three-quarters of a percentage point hike at its next meeting in two weeks.

Powell “appeared very committed in the (Fed’s) mission to stifle inflation and, therefore, probably gave more credence to the possibility of a 75 basis point hike at the September meeting” , said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

“But once investors realized he wasn’t saying anything different than what he had said before, markets pulled back,” he said.

DocuSign shares jumped about 16% in premarket trading after the e-signature company reported strong second-quarter sales and raised its subscription forecast.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.62 to $85.16 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added $1.76 to $90.91 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar fell to 142.37 yen from 144.09 yen. The Euro traded at $1.0056, down from $1.0002 previously.

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ABC News

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