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Wall St closes higher after Biden-Xi talks end, oil steadies

Economy Mar 18, 2022 08:11PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 17, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid 2/2
 
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By Sinéad Carew, Shreyashi Sanyal and Sabahatjahan Contractor

(Reuters) - Wall Street's three major indexes closed higher on Friday, with the biggest boost from recently battered technology stocks, after talks between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping over the Ukraine crisis ended without big surprises.

Investors were also relieved by slowing gains in oil prices as they continued to digest the Federal Reserve's Wednesday interest rate increase and its aggressive plan for further hikes aimed at combating soaring inflation.

U.S. President Joe Biden warned Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a call that there would be "consequences" if Beijing gave material support to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the White House said. Both sides stressed the need for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

While Xi called on NATO nations to hold a dialogue with Moscow, he did not assign blame to Russia for the invasion.

"The read out from the meeting was as expected," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York regarding the Xi/Biden talks. He said that since Russia/Ukraine talks were continuing, investors were tending toward optimism.

"Regarding Russia, Ukraine, the market has been more positive on news from the diplomatic front than negative on the escalation."

Hogan also cited calmer oil prices and relief that the highly anticipated Fed news was finally out.

"Instead of having fears and trepidation of what the Fed might do we have clear roadmap for monetary policy," he said.

In addition to less onerous than expected Fed actions, Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers (NASDAQ:IBKR) in Greenwich, Connecticut said investors were reassured that U.S. crude oil prices weren't too far above $100 on Friday after recently surpassing $130. [O/R]

"At least for this week oil has found a level. That's someway positive for the market as a rising oil price is overweighted in consumer minds as an inflationary indicator," said Sosnick. "Does the market like oil around $100? No. But is it happier that it's around $100 than going up $20 every day? Of course."

Investors were also monitoring for any impact from Friday's "triple witching," in which investors unwind positions in futures and options contracts before they expire, which can lead to volatility and trading volume.

On Friday the expirations appeared to boost volume as 18.47 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges compared with the 14.56 billion moving average for the last 20 sessions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 274.17 points, or 0.8%, to 34,754.93, the S&P 500 gained 51.45 points, or 1.17%, to 4,463.12 and the Nasdaq Composite added 279.06 points, or 2.05%, to 13,893.84.

Wall Street's three main indexes boasted their biggest weekly percentage gains since early November 2020 with the S&P adding 6.2% while the Dow rose 5.5% and the Nasdaq jumping 8.2%.

Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors closed higher, with heavyweight technology and consumer discretionary both finishing up 2.2% while communication services rising 1.4%.

The only declining sector was utilities which ended the session down 0.9%.

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Inc closed up 6.3% after the drugmaker submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow for a second booster of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) Co finished up 1.4% after reports the planemaker was edging toward a landmark order from Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) for up to 100 of its 737 MAX 10 jets.

But shares in U.S. delivery firm FedEx Corp (NYSE:FDX) slumped almost 4% after a weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings report.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.20-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.19-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 44 new highs and 41 new lows.

Wall St closes higher after Biden-Xi talks end, oil steadies
 

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Comments (19)
Jeen Kurde
Jeen Kurde Mar 19, 2022 2:45PM ET
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hhhhhh
Ronel Segurado
Ronel Segurado Mar 19, 2022 12:18AM ET
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sabong
Trumpster Rocks
Trumpster Rocks Mar 18, 2022 9:37PM ET
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Just how much is the Biden Crime Family getting this time and is Hunter and his uncles involved on this deal or is it just jill these days?
Tyler Phillis
Tyler Phillis Mar 18, 2022 9:37PM ET
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Stupid questions, all of them!
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Mar 18, 2022 4:43PM ET
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China is a totalitarian state any numbers coming out of china on its finacial condition are suspect.
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Mar 18, 2022 4:24PM ET
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Looking foreward to buy rubels at toiletpaper price
lup sup
lup sup Mar 18, 2022 4:24PM ET
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US$ will be at the price of toilet roll when being dumped. US has 'consequences' too.
Chih Pin Wu
Chih Pin Wu Mar 18, 2022 2:51PM ET
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Currency will become waste paper, because the number is black and has no credibility, inflation is irreversible, people are victims of the Federal Reserve, and history will prove everything.
Kochar Bipin
Kochar Bipin Mar 18, 2022 1:47PM ET
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The markets are factoring in President Xi's earnest plea to end the conflict as these do not benefit anyone - hopefully, this will lead to saner stance where sane leaders like Macron now take lead in driving a resolution.
JAMES CUNHA
JAMES CUNHA Mar 18, 2022 1:39PM ET
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What did people truly expect from the phone call?  Xi is going to tell Biden what he wants to hear. In the meantime, China is probably shipping off military equipment to Russia.
First Last
First Last Mar 18, 2022 1:39PM ET
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China is probably selling back to Putin at higher prices old Russian arms that China had brought at lower prices.
JAMES CUNHA
JAMES CUNHA Mar 18, 2022 1:36PM ET
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The Nasdaq is primarily comprised of tech. companies.  Russia is one of the largest producers of raw materials used in manufacturing electronics and microchips.  Russia has decided a few weeks back to ban all of its exports of these raw materials until December 2022. Therefore, it is perfectly normal for the Nasdaq to rally these past few days.  Congratulations to the retail baboons who will ultimately hold the bag when this thing drops.  smh
Tyler Phillis
Tyler Phillis Mar 18, 2022 1:36PM ET
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Raw materials that can be gotten elsewhere.
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Mar 18, 2022 1:14PM ET
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This market is climbing Iike Putin has packed up and gone home. Surprise! He's getting upset with his troops failure and I'm sure will do anything to conquer and save face. The gloves will come off soon and these gains will go up in flames. Bagholders.
First Last
First Last Mar 18, 2022 1:14PM ET
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"He's getting upset ... will do anything" --  A petulant man-child like Trump.
Trumpster Rocks
Trumpster Rocks Mar 18, 2022 1:14PM ET
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First Last If Trump is a man child what does that make Corn Pop?
 
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