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Stock Market News Today – Stocks Rally to End Quarter with a Bang
Market News

Stock Market News Today – Stocks Rally to End Quarter with a Bang

Last Updated 4:00 PM EST

Stock indices finished today’s trading session in the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the S&P 500 (SPX), and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) gained 1.26%, 1.43%, and 1.68%, respectively.

The energy sector (XLE) was the session’s laggard, as it gained 0.66%. Conversely, the consumer discretionary sector (XLY) was the session’s leader, with a gain of 2.66%.

Furthermore, the U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield decreased to 3.47%, a decrease of more than eight basis points. Similarly, the Two-Year Treasury yield also decreased, as it hovers around 4.04%.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve updated its latest GDPNow reading, which allows it to estimate GDP growth in real time. The “nowcast” becomes more accurate as more economic data is released throughout the quarter. Currently, it estimates that the economy will expand by about 2.5% in the first quarter.

This is lower than its previous estimate of 3.2%, which can be attributed to recent releases from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Nevertheless, inflation continues to be a problem around the world. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see the actual GDP growth and how it’ll change going forward as higher rates start to impact the economy.

Last updated: 2:00PM EST

Stock indices are in the green heading into the final couple hours of today’s trading session. As of 2:00 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the S&P 500 (SPX), and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) are up 0.8%, 0.9%, and 1.2%, respectively.

On Friday, the University of Michigan released its results on consumer inflation expectations over the next five years. Consumers now expect inflation to be 2.9%, which was higher than expected and remained flat compared to the previous month.

Taking a look at consumer sentiment, results came in at 62, which was lower than the expected 63.2. This is a drop compared to last month’s reading of 63.4. In addition, consumer expectations were lower than expected. March saw a print of 59.2 versus the forecast of 61.5. This was also a decrease compared to last month’s result of 64.7.

Last updated: 11:27AM EST

Equity markets are in the green so far in today’s trading session. As of 11:27 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the S&P 500 (SPX), and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) are up 0.7%, 0.8%, and 0.8%, respectively.

Earlier today, the United States Chicago Purchasing Managers Index was released by ISM-Chicago, which measures the economic health of the manufacturing sector in Chicago. An expansion is defined by a number that is greater than 50, whereas a reading that is lower is considered a contraction.

In March, the number came in at 43.8, which was higher than the expected 43.4 from forecasters and an increase from last month’s report of 43.6. It’s worth noting that the Chicago PMI had been trending lower since its peak of 75.2 back in May 2021. In addition, this marks the seventh consecutive month that the manufacturing sector in Chicago has contracted.

Last updated: 9:35AM EST

The Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are up 0.4%, 0.44%, and 0.45%, respectively, at 9:35 a.m. EST, March 31.

Meanwhile, the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) data indicated that the cost of U.S. goods and services increased by 0.3% month-over-month in February, lower than an expected rise of 0.4% and slower than a sharp increase of 0.6% in January. The year-over-year uptick in prices inched down to a rate of 5% in February versus 5.3% in January.

This slower growth in prices could signal that the Fed’s flight against inflation could be showing some progress.

First published: 5:39AM EST

U.S. futures are trending near the flat line on Friday morning as markets await the release of the U.S. personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index at 8:30 a.m. EST today. Federal officials consider the PCE as a better mark of inflation and will be closely watching if there is any drastic increase in the figure.

Futures on the Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are up 0.02%, 0.09%, and 0.04%, respectively at 5:00 a.m. EST, March 31.

As per Dow Jones estimates, the core PCE figure, which excludes food and gas costs, is expected to rise by 0.4% in February over the prior month, while the annual figure is pegged to grow by 4.7%. Moreover, personal income data and consumer spending numbers will be released today. Plus, the final March figure for the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index is set for 10 a.m. EST today.

Meanwhile, markets attentively listen to the speeches of Federal officials to see for any new signs of optimism in them. Notable speakers today include Governor Lisa Cook and Governor Christopher Waller. Remarkably, the U.S. weekly jobless claims report said that the number increased by 7,000 to reach 198,000, giving hopes of a pause in rate hikes soon.

Euro Zone Inflation Shows Signs of Cooling

Elsewhere, most of the European indices are trading in positive territory on news of eurozone inflation dropping significantly in March. This was owing to a consistent decline in energy prices in the 20-member bloc nation while food prices continued to rise. Notably, headline inflation came in at 6.9%, as noted by Eurostat, while it was 8.5% in February. At the same time, core inflation came in at 5.7% in March, increasing slightly over the prior month’s figure of 5.6%.

Central banks around the world are closely watching the month-over-month inflation figures unfold to decide the future trajectory of their respective monetary policies. For most nations, the core inflation figure continues to remain sticky, posing a challenge to the interest rate scenario. Major indices around the globe are set to end the first quarter on a positive note.

Asia-Pacific Markets End in the Green

A majority of Asia-Pacific indices finished the trading session in the green today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, China’s Shanghai Composite, and Shenzhen Component indices ended the day up by 0.45%, 0.36%, and 1.02%, respectively.

Further, Japan’s Nikkei and Topix indices both finished the trading session higher by 0.93% and 1.02%, respectively, following Tokyo’s March inflation reading, which has been falling consistently since its peak in December 2022.

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