Salem Radio Network News Friday, January 21, 2022

Business

Wall St mostly edges up in volatile trade, day after sell-off

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were mostly up slightly on Thursday in jumpy afternoon trading, with financials among sectors lending the most support to the S&P 500 a day after the market sold off due to a hawkish slant in Federal Reserve minutes.

The S&P 500 financials index was up 1.3%, extending recent strong gains. Other economically sensitive sectors including energy were up 1.9% on the day and up more than 8% since Dec. 31.

Banks were among the top performers among financials, with the S&P 500 bank index up about 2% following a rise in the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield, which on Thursday touched its highest level since April 2021. [US/] Higher interest rates can increase profit margins for banks and other financial firms.

But the heavily weighted S&P technology index, which was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 Wednesday, was down slightly and the Dow was lower as well.

After minutes from the Fed’s December meeting signaled the possibility of sooner-than-expected rate hikes, investors will watch for Friday’s monthly jobs report from the U.S. Labor Department.

“We have a jobs report tomorrow, which continues to be a focal area for the market in terms of the progression of the labor market,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

Wednesday’s private payrolls report was stronger than expected, and the Fed minutes cited a “very tight” job market and unabated inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 140.53 points, or 0.39%, to 36,266.58, the S&P 500 gained 3.68 points, or 0.08%, to 4,704.26 and the Nasdaq Composite added 21.69 points, or 0.14%, to 15,121.86.

So far this week, market participants have rotated out of technology-heavy growth shares and into more value-oriented stocks that tend to do better in a high interest rate environment.

The S&P 500 value index was up 0.3% on Thursday vs a 0.1% decline in its growth counterpart.

Data early on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week. Separately, U.S. services industry activity slowed more than expected in December, but supply bottlenecks appeared to be easing.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.19-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.04-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 32 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 58 new highs and 479 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and David Gregorio)

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