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S&P 500 gains following Powell’s comments

The S&P 500 rose Wednesday as investors attempted to turn a corner following back-to-back losing sessions on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 added 0.51 per cent to 5,104.76, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.58 per cent to 16,031.54. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded higher by 75.86 points, or 0.2 per cent, to close at 38,661.05. The blue-chip average was weighed down by a drop of more than 2 per cent in Disney.

While the Nasdaq saw gains Wednesday, some major tech names sat out of the rally. Apple fell for its sixth straight trading day and has now lost $352 billion this year, even as mega-cap darling Nvidia climbed more than 3 per cent. Alphabet and Tesla also both traded lower in the session.

Despite Wednesday’s action, the three major indexes were still down on the week.

Regional bank stocks swung between gains and losses in the session after New York Community Bancorp announced a $1 billion capital raise. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) ended the session slightly lower after trading down by more than 2 per cent during the day.

Shares of NYCB rose about 7.5 per cent after tumbling more than 40 per cent earlier in the session. Trading in the stock was halted several times throughout the day.

Traders kept an eye on the first of two Capitol Hill appearances from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell this week, who said on Wednesday in prepared remarks that the central bank could lower interest rates this year. However, the Fed chief said the bank is not immediately ready to cut the cost of borrowing money.

Powell stated, “We believe that our policy rate is likely at its peak for this tightening cycle…If the economy evolves broadly as expected, it will likely be appropriate to begin dialing back policy restraint at some point this year.”

Powell noted that the central bank would like to see more data when questioned by the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. He’s also slated to appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

Turning to commodities, Oil prices surged over 1 per cent following further comments from Jerome Powell about increasing gasoline demand. The West Texas Intermediate contract for April settled up 1.25 per cent, while May Brent futures rose by 1.12 per cent. Powell mentioned to the House Financial Services Committee the likelihood of rate adjustments later this year pending further data, alongside observations of declining U.S. gasoline stockpiles, signaling a growing demand.

This week witnessed yet another milestone in the gold market as prices surged beyond $2,100 per ounce. However, major players like Newmont and Barrick have not experienced parallel success. This disjunction between the value of the metal and the performance of mining companies could catalyze increased merger and acquisition activity within the industry.

Turning to US sectors, all sectors except for Communications and Consumer Discretionary closed higher overnight. Utilities was the best performer.

In the Australian landscape, the agenda for today includes the release of local economic indicators such as January trade balance and housing finance at 11:30 am.

Figures around the globe

European markets closed higher. London’s FTSE gained 0.43 per cent, Frankfurt added 0.10 per cent, and Paris closed 0.28 per cent higher.

Turning to Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.02 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.70 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.26 per cent..

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.12 per cent higher at 7,733.54.

Ex-dividends

Auswide Bank Ltd (ASX:ABA) is paying 11 cents fully franked
Aust Finance Grp (ASX:AFG) is paying 4 cents fully franked
Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) is paying 1.6017 cents unfranked
Ambertech Limited (ASX:AMO) is paying 1.2 cents fully franked
Atlas Pearls Ltd (ASX:ATP) is paying 1.5 cents 37.33 per cent franked
Bapcor Limited (ASX:BAP) is paying 9.5 cents fully franked
BHP Group Limited (ASX:BHP) is paying 110.0244 cents fully franked
Clearview Wealth Ltd (ASX:CVW) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked
Freightways Group Lt (ASX:FRW) is paying 16.8397 cents unfranked
FSA Group Limited (ASX:FSA) is paying 3.5 cents fully franked
G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) is paying 3 cents fully franked
Globe International (ASX:GLB) is paying 9 cents fully franked
GTN Limited (ASX:GTN) is paying 1.1 cents unfranked
Helia Group Limited (ASX:HLI) is paying 15 cents 33.33 per cent franked
Helia Group Limited (ASX:HLI) is paying 30 cents 33.33 per cent franked
Helloworld Travl Ltd (ASX:HLO) is paying 5 cents fully franked
Idp Education Ltd (ASX:IEL) is paying 25 cents 77 per cent franked
Maas Group Holdings (ASX:MGH) is paying 3 cents fully franked
Michael Hill Int (ASX:MHJ) is paying 1.75 cents unfranked
McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) is paying 76 cents fully franked
Monash IVF Group Ltd (ASX:MVF) is paying 2.5 cents fully franked
NIB Holdings Limited (ASX:NHF) is paying 15 cents fully franked
Nzme Limited (ASX:NZM) is paying 5.6407 cents unfranked
Platinum Asia Ltd (ASX:PAI) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked
Platinum Capital Ltd (ASX:PMC) is paying 3 cents fully franked
Pinnacle Investment (ASX:PNI) is paying 15.6 cents fully franked
Perseus Mining Ltd (ASX:PRU) is paying 1.25 cents unfranked
Platinum Asset (ASX:PTM) is paying 6 cents fully franked
Qualitaslimited (ASX:QAL) is paying 2.25 cents fully franked
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) is paying 392.78 cents fully franked
South32 Limited (ASX:S32) is paying 0.6188 cents fully franked
Schaffer Corp. Ltd. (ASX:SFC) is paying 45 cents fully franked
Shine Justice Ltd (ASX:SHJ) is paying 1.5 cents unfranked
Sky Network (ASX:SKT) is paying 6.5951 cents unfranked
Universal Store (ASX:UNI) is paying 16.5 cents fully franked
Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA) is paying 7.1 cents fully franked
Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) is paying 91.5053 cents fully franked

Dividends payable

Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.

Disclaimer

The views, opinions or recommendations of the commentators in this presentation are solely those of the author and do not in any way reflect the views, opinions, recommendations, of Sequoia Financial Group Limited ABN 90 091 744 884 and its related bodies corporate (“SEQ”). SEQ makes no representation or warranty with respect to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the content. Any prices published are accurate subject to the time of filming and shouldn’t be relied upon to make a financial decision. Commentators may hold positions in stocks mentioned and companies may pay FNN to produce the content at times. The content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Independent advice should be obtained from an Australian Financial Services Licensee before making investment decisions. To the extent permitted by law, SEQ excludes all liability for any loss or damage arising in any way including by way of negligence.