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Wall Street enjoys banner Friday despite retail sales disappointment

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4:14pm: Cruise line companies benefit from rising tides on Wall Street

The Dow ended Friday up 361 points, 1.1%, at 34,382. The Nasdaq surged 305 points, 2.3%, to 13,430, and the S&P 500 improved 61 points, 1.5%, to 4,174.

Despite the robust performance, the major indices posted losses on the week after Wall Sreet endured a major crunch from Monday to Wednesday.

Cruise companies were among the session’s biggest outperformers. Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) shares gained more than 8% to $27.16. Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE:RCL) stock jumped more than 7% to $84.16 and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NYSE:NCLH) saw its share price rise 8% to $28.56.

12:16pm: Big tech enjoying strong Friday

The Dow was up 289 points, 0.9%, to 34,310 at midday. The Nasdaq jumped 268 points, 2.1%, to 13,392, and the S&P 500 improved 54 points, 1.3%, to 4,167.

“It looks like a positive end to the week is in sight for risk assets, which have recovered from their inflation panic 48 hours ago,” IG Chief Market Analyst Chris Beauchamp wrote. ”…Yet again what had threatened to turn into a more dramatic selloff has been neutered, dip buyers seemingly as keen as ever to hit the button and jump in on any weakness.”

Tech stocks in particular enjoyed a rally. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) each added more than 2%.

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Phunware Inc (NASDAQ:PHUN) (FRA:2RJ) closes 1Q with a record $23.5M in cash

9.35am: US benchmarks start on front foot

The main indices on Wall Street got off to a positive start on Friday despite the latest batch of US retail sales data falling short of expectations.

In the first minutes of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.73% at 34,269 while the S&P 500 climbed 0.8% to 4,145 and the Nasdaq rose 1.09% to 13,268.

The positive start followed reports that US retail sales for April were flat at US$619bn, though they were up 51% compared to April 2020.

Consensus had placed a 1% rise month-on-month in April, after a 9.7% surge in March helped by government stimulus.

Clothing and clothing accessories stores were up 726% from April 2020, while food services and drinking places rocketed 116%.

7:40am: Wall Street set for higher open

Wall Street futures are pointing towards a positive open on Friday as optimism over the upcoming US retail sales data seems to be quelling the ongoing jitters about inflation.

Retail sales are forecast to rise 1% month-on-month in April after surging 9.7% in March, helped by government stimulus.

“There’s a good chance this month’s retail sales number could come in ahead of forecasts as households continue spending those stimulus cheques,” said Sophie Griffiths at OANDA.

“With investors keen to buy the dips, the sell-off earlier this week is looking increasingly like a natural correction within the ongoing uptrend rather than anything more sinister.”

“Concerns over runaway US inflation have been offset by signs that the labour market recovery is still on track and reassuring Fed speakers. The Fed continues to drum home the message that it’s too soon to talk about tightening monetary policy, and the market is listening again. Fed speakers have been out in droves over the past few days, hoping to get the message across to the market: the Fed is not planning on moving on policy anytime soon.”

Four things to watch for on Friday:

  • The earnings diary is a little bare for the end of the week, with chemical company Diversey Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:DSEY) among the few businesses scheduled to report
  • Shares in Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) will be in focus after the media giant reported better thane expected earnings after Thursday’s close, although subscriber growth for Disney+ did show signs of slowing
  • Crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN) will also see some post-earnings attention after it upgraded its monthly user forecasts for the full year
  • On the macro front, aside from the retail sales figures investors will be keeping an eye on US production figures for April as well as a bundle of consumer sentiment readings

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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