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Stocks cap best week since June, and tech gets its mojo back

Nov. 11, 2022 Updated Fri., Nov. 11, 2022 at 6:42 p.m.

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces visit the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Veterans Day Friday in New York City.  (Getty Images)
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces visit the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Veterans Day Friday in New York City. (Getty Images)
By Stephen Kirkland and Isabelle Lee Washington Post

U.S. stocks gained surer footing after a choppy morning session, extending a rally sparked by a slowdown in inflation. The dollar fell, declining for a fourth week.

The S&P 500 closed near session highs in the biggest weekly gain since June. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 climbed more than 1.5%, notching its best week in two years. Cash Treasury trading is closed for Veterans Day.

Elsewhere, China easing some COVID restrictions helped underpin risk sentiment Friday, with U.S.-listed Chinese stocks rising along with commodities from oil to soybeans to precious metals.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies resumed a selloff amid FTX’s deepening woes with Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire filing for bankruptcy. While that news weighed on sentiment in early trading, investors downplayed contagion risks.

“From my vantage point, the real-world impact seems somewhat limited,” said Dan Suzuki, deputy chief investment officer at Richard Bernstein Advisors. “It’s hard to imagine how it has a big impact on the overall economy. Crypto makes up a relatively small portion of financial markets, financial transaction, jobs, consumer spending, business spending, etc.”

U.S. stocks soared the most since 2020 on Thursday after a better-than-forecast cooling in U.S. inflation improved prospects of a dovish tilt by the Federal Reserve. On Friday, the University of Michigan’s preliminary November survey showed U.S. consumer inflation expectations increased in the short and long run while sentiment retreated.

Boston Fed President Susan Collins said that the risks of going too far have risen after a string of jumbo-sized rate hikes, but noted a smaller, more “deliberate” increase should not be confused with backing down from curbing price pressures.

“The moderation in the pace of inflation is a welcome development, while it is still far too early to declare the inflation threat over,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, wrote. “We still think the Fed is likely to raise at least another 100 basis points in total before it pauses the rate hiking cycle.”

While markets reacted positively to the inflation print Thursday, Credit Suisse strategists led by Jonathan Golub said the rally was “out of sync with the size of the surprise.” This, they note, follows a pattern of outsize responses to CPI prints, which has averaged 2.8% on the day in the past seven releases.

The dollar slumped more than 1% on Friday in the biggest weekly drop since the pandemic-fueled volatility in March 2020.

Bitcoin dropped as much as 8% to $16,376 and Ether fell as much as 9.2%. FTX.com’s bankruptcy filing capped a swift reversal of fortune for the crypto exchange led by Bankman-Fried.

Pinduoduo and JD.com jumped in U.S. trading amid growing optimism Beijing is on its way to ending the crippling COVID Zero policy. China reduced the amount of time travelers and close contacts must spend in quarantine.

Some of the main moves

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 rose 0.9% as of 4 p.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 rose 1.8%
  • The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1%

The MSCI World index rose 1.9%

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 1.3%
  • The euro rose 1.4% to $1.0357
  • The British pound rose 1.1% to $1.1845
  • The Japanese yen rose 1.6% to 138.68 per dollar

Cryptocurrencies

  • Bitcoin fell 6.7% to $16,606.42
  • Ether fell 5.8% to $1,244.44

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 3.81%
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced 15 basis points to 2.16%
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced seven basis points to 3.36%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2.9% to $88.94 a barrel
  • Gold futures rose 1% to $1,770.50 an ounce
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