Stocks rose again on Thursday as a bit more fear seemed to evaporate from the markets in regard to the banking industry:
- The Dow 141 points, or 0.4%, to 32,859.
- The S&P 500 rose 23 points, or 0.5%, to 4,050.
- The Nasdaq rose 87 points, or 0.7%, to 12,013.
Forceful actions by regulators worldwide have helped build confidence that the current trouble for banks won’t torpedo the economy like the 2008 financial crisis did. Traders have also begun betting heavily that the Federal Reserve will have to cut interest rates soon. Gains for Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Nvidia, and Tesla on Thursday were the strongest forces pushing the benchmark S&P 500 higher. Amazon rose 1.3%, while the others were up more modestly. Financial stocks in the S&P 500 went from gains in the morning to losses in the afternoon, and their fade helped the overall index to pare its gains. But the movements were still more muted than they were earlier this month when fears about the banking system were at their height.
To be sure, all the recent ebullience has some professionals on Wall Street wary. “Markets are pricing the best of both worlds: a recession that brings inflation down rapidly and keeps rates low, yet one where corporate earnings do not fall sharply,” according to analysts at Barclays led by Ajay Rajadhyaksha, global chairman of research. They are skeptical and think both bonds and US stocks look too expensive.
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