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Wall Street ends higher, gains driven by banks, healthcare

Economy Sep 08, 2022 08:16PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in Washington, U.S., July 27, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz 2/2
 
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By Carolina Mandl

(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes posted gains on Thursday mainly lifted by financial institutions and healthcare companies, as investors digested hawkish remarks from policymakers that cemented bets of a large interest rate hike later this month.

Indexes bounced back and forth in a choppy trading as concerns over Federal Reserve's next steps to tame a surging inflation remain.

"There's just a lot of uncertainty and I think people aren't going to really make up their minds for longer than five minutes or five seconds, you know, until there's a little bit more clarity or light at the end of the tunnel," said Grace Lee, an equity income senior portfolio manager at Boston-based Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

Money market traders see 87% odds that the Fed will hike rates by 75 basis points at this month's meeting.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Barclays (LON:BARC) and Jefferies said they now see a 75-basis points interest rate hike. Before Barclays had said it could be a 50- or 75-basis point increase, while Bank of America and Jefferies were betting on a 50-basis point rise. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank is "strongly committed" to bringing inflation down and needs to keep going until it gets the job done. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans joined his fellow policymakers in saying that reining in inflation is "job one." Investors are also awaiting the U.S. August inflation report next week for fresh clues on whether the Federal Reserve will hike rates by half or three-quarters of a percentage point at the next policy meeting due Sept. 20-21.

Worries over aggressive monetary tightening across the globe stalled equity markets on Thursday after the European Central Bank hiked interest rates by an unprecedented 75 basis points and signaled further hikes. Meanwhile, data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to a three-month low, underscoring the robustness of the labor market even as the Fed raises interest rates. With increasing odds of another outsized rate hike, both the rate-sensitive S&P 500 bank index and the S&P 500 healthcare sector rose 2.8% and 1.8%, respectively. The healthcare sector was boosted by news that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN)'s anti-blindness treatment Eylea was shown to work as well when given at a higher dose at a longer interval between injections. The drugmaker's shares jumped 18.8%.

"People are embracing safety. Healthcare is a very safe sector and it's still fairly cheap, the same way with the broader financial sector," said Lee. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 193.24 points, or 0.61%, to 31,774.52, the S&P 500 gained 26.31 points, or 0.66%, to 4,006.18 and the Nasdaq Composite added 70.23 points, or 0.6%, to 11,862.13. GameStop Corp (NYSE:GME) surged 7.4% after the video game retailer reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss. American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) Inc tumbled 8.7% after the apparel maker missed second-quarter profit estimates and said it would pause quarterly dividend as it fortifies its finances against a hit from inflation.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.19 billion shares, compared with the 10.37 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

On Wednesday, Wall Street's main indexes climbed the most in about a month as bond yields retreated after a recent surge that was driven by expectations of higher interest rates. Still, the benchmark S&P 500 is down over 16% year-to-date.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.34-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.48-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 7 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 37 new highs and 153 new lows.

Wall Street ends higher, gains driven by banks, healthcare
 

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Comments (57)
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 09, 2022 9:42AM ET
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Hey, Investing.com: What is your policy on psotimg URLs I'm comments. I try to post links to sources and YouTube videos and the are sent to moderation and never approved. Meanwhile spammers succeed. What is the deal? What doe it take to be able to successfully include URLs in comments?
Alfred Marshall
Alfred Marshall Sep 09, 2022 7:47AM ET
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invest $5000 and earn $22,000
DK Hong
DK Hong Sep 08, 2022 10:23PM ET
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Oil, gas and materials are going down. That is showing that inflation is also going down. At this time, interest rates hike? It doesn’t make sense.
Rahul Katke
Rahul Katke Sep 08, 2022 4:23PM ET
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recession is coming guys
Stan Smith
Stan Smith Sep 08, 2022 4:18PM ET
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Driven by the sick and the greedy...great
Stan Smith
Stan Smith Sep 08, 2022 3:03PM ET
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Wall St struggles? The only thing down is Gold. Everything is backwards
znao sam
znao sam Sep 08, 2022 2:58PM ET
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This guy change opinion every 2 min
jason xx
jason xx Sep 08, 2022 2:46PM ET
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If you think they will keep hiking rates every meeting until inflation is at 2% you are delusional. A puase is coming.
Nils Hullmann
Nils Hullmann Sep 08, 2022 2:46PM ET
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hey Buttcoin boy...hope ist not an investment strategy
JIM VETTER
JIM VETTER Sep 08, 2022 2:43PM ET
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struggles? Tell that to the fricking bulls. As far as they're concerned, ALL IS WELL
First Last
First Last Sep 08, 2022 2:43PM ET
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If "As far as they're concerned, ALL IS WELL", then we wouldn't still be in a correction.
Berbagi itu Indah
Berbagi itu Indah Sep 08, 2022 2:37PM ET
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As long as the world still in the pandemic, your policy is useless.
 
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