S&P 500 down as Microsoft slips; Fed official's comments on rate hike weigh

Microsoft down after trimming forecast due to FX impact; consumer discretionary and materials were the top gainers, up 1.9% and 2.1%, respectively

S&P 500 | Microsoft Corporation | Federal Reserve


Last Updated at June 2, 2022 22:29 IST

U.S. stock indexes rose in choppy trading on Thursday led by Tesla and other growth stocks, with investor focus on Microsoft’s forecast cut and comments from a official ahead of a key jobs report due on Friday.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced. Consumer discretionary and materials were the top gainers, up 1.9% and 2.1%, respectively. Chipmakers added 2.0%, with Nvidia Corp climbing 5.9%.

U.S. stocks hit session lows earlier in the day after Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said she backs at least a couple more half percentage point interest rate hikes, and sees little case for pausing rate hikes in September if price pressures fail to cool.

“There’s a lot of confusion. With so much uncertainty, it will be a little bit clearer by the time July comes on what the Fed needs to do or is doing,” said Kenny Polcari, managing partner at Kace Capital Advisors.

“I don’t think they should pause at all. Now, that being said, they’ll probably cave if the market really comes under pressure.”

Wall Street’s main indexes staged a strong rally towards the end of May as signs that inflation may have peaked and consumer resiliency brought back buyers into the market.

Still, they closed lower for the last two sessions as the recent set of data failed to ease concerns that the Fed may not raise rates as much as previously expected.

The ADP National Employment report showed private payrolls increased far less than expected in May, though job openings remain extremely high.

All eyes are on the government’s nonfarm payrolls data on Friday. Analysts are expecting the economy to have added 325,000 jobs last month.

“If you see many more jobs created than what you saw in ADP, the market may view that less constructively because it means the Fed will keep their foot on the gas with tightening,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital Llc in New York.

At 12:19 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 104.23 points, or 0.32%, at 32,917.46.

The was up 32.53 points, or 0.79%, at 4,133.76, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 181.98 points, or 1.52%, at 12,176.44, helped by a 5.9% rise in electric-car maker Tesla Inc’s shares.

Microsoft fell 1.3% after the company cut its fourth-quarter forecast for profit and revenue, making it the latest U.S. company to warn of a hit from a stronger greenback.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co slid 5.9% after the IT and hardware firm released a disappointing full-year forecast due to currency headwinds and its exit from Russia.

Ford Motor Co rose 2.5% after the automaker said it plans to invest $3.7 billion in assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.26-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.62-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and 29 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 23 new highs and 89 new lows.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, June 02 2022. 22:02 IST