Stocks extend rally as Wall Street looks to end of quarter: Stock market news today

Here's what's moving markets on Thursday, March 30, 2023.

·5-min read

U.S. stocks moved higher Thursday, extending gains from the prior session, as Wall Street looked to round out the end of the year's first quarter on a high note.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) added 0.57% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) increased 0.43%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) gained 0.73%.

"Right now, we are definitely benefiting from quarter-end window addressing," Louis Navellier, chief investment officer at Navellier, wrote in a note to clients. "This is the time of year when professional managers make their portfolios extra pretty because of their client reviews in April. So they are basically selling their losers and adding to the ones that have strong sales and earnings."

Bond yields were mixed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note ticked down to 3.54%. On the front end of the yield curve, two-year yields jumped to 4.1%. The dollar index was down to $102.

Meanwhile, in a key signal that volatility has stabilized, the VIX moved below 20, as traders bet the banking fallout is mostly in the rear view.

The S&P 500 closed up 1.4% on Wednesday, above the levels last seen before the Silicon Valley Bank fiasco. Real estate and tech were the top-performing sectors, while gold and oil moved lower. Treasury yields were mixed, while the Nasdaq 100 (^NDX), which tracks the 100 largest companies by market cap — excluding financial sector firms — officially entered a bull market.

Intel (INTC) surged Wednesday after the company announced that its new server chips will come sooner than anticipated. Shares rose another 2% Thursday.

Also on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve's top banking regulator, Michael Barr, signaled that the central bank intends to maintain its stance in its “meeting-by-meeting judgment on rates” and that “incoming data” will continue to be analyzed. These comments were consistent with Chairman Jerome Powell’s recent remarks, which has driven market participants' expectations for a May rate hike to be little changed.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28:  Federal Reserve Board Vice Chair for Supervision Michael S. Barr (R) testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee March 28, 2023 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on the topic of
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Federal Reserve Board Vice Chair for Supervision Michael S. Barr (R) testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee March 28, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Bank sentiment hasn't hit rebound mode yet, with the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index (^BKX), down over 19% this year.

Meanwhile, Fed officials defended the bank's latest rate hike delivered last week. Boston Federal Reserve President Susan Collins said in a speech in Washington at the NABE Economic Policy Conference on Thursday that she is in support of another 0.25% interest rate hike amid persistent inflation in the wake of the recent banking turmoil.

Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin echoed that sentiment, saying it was appropriate for interest rates to increase by 0.25%. However, Collins and Barkin are not currently voting members for the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the group that decides on policy changes.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said at a town-hall event Thursday in St. Paul, Minnesota, that there's more work to do to bring inflation down to the bank's its 2% goal, citing that the services economy is still an area of concern.

"Wage growth is still growing faster than what is consistent with our 2% inflation target; that tells me we still have more work to do to bring the services side of the economy back into balance ... we know we have to get inflation down, and we will," Kashkari said.

On the economic front, the number of people filing unemployment claims rose to 198,000, up 7,000 from the prior week ending March 25 and slightly above expectations of 196,000. Separately, the American economy expanded to an annualized rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2022, slightly down from earlier estimates of a 2.7% gain.

"The slight downward revision to Q4 GDP shows the economy ended 2022 with marginally less momentum," Oren Klachkin, lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics, wrote following the release.

"Looking ahead, the economy will face the full brunt of tighter credit conditions and Fed policy this year, and inflation is set to stay above its historical trend. The recent banking sector turmoil will affect the economy mainly through tighter lending standards and a reduction in the availability of credit," the economist added.

Here are some trending tickers on Yahoo Finance:

  • Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW): Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Cyprys downgraded his buy-equivalent rating on Schwab for the first time since he started covering the brokerage firm over seven years ago. Shares slumped around 5%.

  • Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA): Executives at the company gave the latest update about the restructuring plans to split the business into six units. CEO Daniel Zhang told investors on Thursday “Alibaba will be more of the nature of an asset and capital operator than a business operator, in relation to the business group companies.”

  • Roku, Inc. (ROKU): The company announced a restructuring plan to lower operating expenses and prioritize projects that it believes will have a higher return on investment. The move led to eliminating 6% of its workforce. Shares fell 3.6%.

  • Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY): The struggling retailer announced it would sell up to $300 million in shares as a rescue financing deal after reporting fourth quarter sales results, missing analysts expectations.

  • EVgo (EVGO): The electric-vehicle charging company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, notching up to $27.3 million, while Wall Street was expecting $20 million.

  • Mullen Automotive (MULN): The California-based EV startup filed a lawsuit against the news outlet dot.LA, accusing the author of article of printing "false and defamatory statements regarding Mullen, including false and defamatory statements regarding the terms of a settlement agreement of a civil action."

  • Rivian Automotive, Inc. (RIVN): The stock gained as much as 9% during Wednesday's trading session after Needham, an investment firm said it's positive on the risk and reward going into the EV's first quarter delivery data, which is potentially announced next week.

  • RH (RH): The luxury home furniture company missed its top and bottom line for its last quarter. RH CEO Gary Friedman blamed the Fed, inflation, the underperforming stock market, and banking crisis for poor quarterly results.

In the crypto market, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) has soared over 17% in the last two weeks, crossing $29,000 briefly on Thursday before retreating back to near $28,000 amid regulatory headwinds.

Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @daniromerotv

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