US stocks rose on Friday, closing the week on an optimistic note, driven by strong gains in the technology sector.
The S&P 500 (^GSPC) ended Friday 1.9% higher, although it closed the week down 0.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 1.0% on Friday. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) closed up 2.9%, its biggest one-day gain since the end of November.
The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 3.482% from 3.397% on Thursday. The dollar index has not changed a bit.
The moves higher on Friday capped off what was a rough week for Wall Street. Stocks extended their losing streak on Thursday as investors parsed economic data and corporate earnings reports, clouding their views on the health of the US economy.
Despite concerns about the economy, markets have been somewhat resilient and have moved mostly higher this year, according to the US Market Intelligence team at JP Morgan. However, the team does not believe that a recession is currently priced into the stock markets.
“We do not agree with the argument that a recession is a consensus,” the team wrote, “Market and economic outcomes must be better.”
The S&P 500 is expected to post a year-over-year profit decline of 3.9% for the fourth quarter, according to data from FactSet Research. If realized, this would be the first annual profit decline reported by the index since 2020.
Wall Street had another round of data and Fed speaking over the weekend that provided mixed signals on the central bank’s next move. New York Fed President John Williams said Thursday that the central bank has more rate hikes to “bring inflation down to our 2% target on a sustainable basis.”
Fed Vice Chair Lyle Brainard and Boston Fed President Susan Collins made similar comments Thursday ahead of the Fed’s next monetary policy meeting, which begins Jan. 31.
However, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker reiterated his view Friday morning for a shift to a 25 basis point interest rate hike, while Fed Governor Christopher Waller said Friday he also favors a quarter-percentage point hike at the next meeting.
On the economic front, US previously owned home sales fell for the 11th straight month in December, further triggering a record decline as high mortgage rates and limited inventory stifled affordability.
Closing contracts fell 1.5% from the November reading, to an annual pace of 4.02 million last month, according to data from the National Association of Realtors on Friday. The number of homes available for sale fell to 970,000 in the month, at an average sale price of 2.3% from a year earlier.
In corporate news, Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings announced Thursday that he’s stepping down from his position. After two decades, he left the streaming platform in the hands of co-CEO Ted Sarandos and COO Greg Peters after reporting a strong end to 2022.
And the age of sharing passwords will soon be over. Netflix announced in its earnings report Thursday that the streaming giant will enforce password-sharing rules “on a larger scale” at the end of the first quarter of 2023. Shares jumped about 8% on Friday.
Meanwhile, Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google (GOOG, GOOGL), said it is laying off 12,000 workers, or more than 6% of its global workforce, becoming the latest tech company to cut staff after rapid expansions during the pandemic. Shares of Alphabet Inc. rose. Google’s parent company fell nearly 6% on Friday.
CNBC reports that fanatics are in talks to acquire the BetParx sportsbook. The company is looking to expand its presence in the sports betting industry.
In the commodity market, oil prices have risen. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose about 1.3% to $83.99 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, rose 1.45% to settle at around $81.78 a barrel. Both ended the week with further gains driven by optimism about demand recovery in China.
Meanwhile, in the cryptocurrency market, Genesis Global Capital filed for bankruptcy protection late Thursday in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The move comes after the company was unable to raise cash for its distressed lending unit and cut 30% of staff in a fresh round of layoffs in early January.
Danny Romero is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @tweet
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