Financials, energy stocks lead Wall Street higher on recovery hopes

Financials, energy stocks lead Wall Street higher on recovery hopes

2/2 Financials, energy stocks lead Wall Street higher on recovery hopes © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building after the start of Thursday's trading session in New York 2/2

By Devik Jain and Medha Singh

(Reuters) – Wall Street's main indexes broadly rose on Friday with technology, energy and financial stocks providing the biggest boost as investors bet on what is expected to be the fastest economic growth since 1984.

The S&P 500 and the Dow were set to end a choppy week higher as an end-of-quarter rebalancing of investment portfolios led to alternating boost from stocks that stand to benefit from a re-opening economy, and beaten-down technology shares.

The S&P 500 value index, which includes energy, banks and industrial stocks, has gained more than 10% this year, easily outperforming growth shares, which are down about 1%.

"It is less a move out of technology than a move that evidences a broader appetite for equities to include both growth and value," said John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management in New York.

Graphic: Fund flows into U.S. growth and value funds –

L Brands (NYSE:LB) jumped about 5.3% after the Victoria's Secret owner raised its current-quarter profit forecast for the second time this month as it benefits from consumers spending their stimulus checks and relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

Wall Street's main indexes rebounded in late-day rally on Thursday as weekly jobless claims hit their lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began and President Joe Biden highlighted the brightening economic outlook.

"It has been hard to restrain our U.S. growth forecast in recent months. We've been upgrading our estimates almost as fast as we lowered them a year ago," Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust (NASDAQ:NTRS), told the Reuters Global Markets Forum.

Bank stocks added 1.2% as the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would lift income-based restrictions on bank dividends and share buybacks for "most firms" in June after its next round of stress tests.

Energy stocks jumped 1.3%, tracking a boost in crude prices after a giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal spurred fears of supply squeeze. [O/R]

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors rose with only the utilities and communication services indexes in the red.

At 11:40 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 158.62 points, or 0.49%, at 32,778.10, the S&P 500 was up 20.81 points, or 0.53%, at 3,930.33. The Nasdaq Composite was up 31.84 points, or 0.25%, at 13,009.52.

Nio (NYSE:NIO) Inc slumped 6.8% as the Chinese electric vehicle maker said it would halt production for five working days at its Hefei plant due to a shortage in semiconductor chips.

Latest data showed U.S. consumer spending fell by the most in 10 months in February as a cold snap gripped many parts of the country and the boost from a second round of stimulus checks faded, though the decline is likely to be temporary.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.69-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.40-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 36 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 50 new highs and 26 new lows.

Original Article

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