Markets: Wall Street to run the gauntlet once again

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

It never ends.

For all the volatility, angst about inflation, growth, geopolitical tensions and earnings, Wall Street ended very much on an up note on Friday, but will have to run the gauntlet once again this week.

The ASX 200 is heading for a small rise today after Friday’s nervy slide.

The 24 point gain in the futures market was more a sign of caution after Friday’s 1.4% slide to 7, 575.9 at the close, which saw the market rise 0.11 % over the shortened trading week.

After Friday’s performance on Wall Street, that was a modest rise, with the S&P having its strongest week for nearly half a year.

The index ended up 1.02% to settle at 5,099.96. The Nasdaq and its fleet of tech giants jumped more than 2% to end at 15,927.90 and secure its best daily move in two months. The Dow rose 153.86 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 38,239.66.

The S&P and Nasdaq had their best weeks since November. The S&P popped 2.7% to snap a three-week losing streak, while the Nasdaq gained 4.2% for its first positive week in five. The Dow edged up 0.7%.

Eurozone shares rose 1.7%, Japanese shares gained 2.3% and Chinese shares were up 1.2% and a recovery in foreign investment into the sharemarkets was reported.

Good late reports Thursday from Alphabet and Microsoft, especially from their AI businesses, boosted Wall Street trading on Friday.

Alphabet shares were up more than 10% (higher revenues and a $US70 billion buyback helped sway wavering investors). Microsoft added 2%. Nvidia shares jumped more than 6% on Friday and 12% for the week.

Apple shares rose 2.1% last week ahead of its quarterly results late this week, while shares in Amazon were up 1.5% after a 3.4% jump on Friday.

Tesla shares lost 1.1% on Friday, but was still ahead by more than 19% for the week. Meta shares were up 0.43% on Friday, but still down more than 9% after the slump on Thursday on what the market saw as a weak outlook.

Anglo American shares jumped 24%, BHP shares fell 3.7% and will come under more pressure today as investors realise the company is not giving up with Anglo American.

March’s final inflation, consumer income and spending figures showed reading following a spate of reports that suggested slowing growth and sticky inflation.

The measure, which excluded food and energy, rose 2.8% from a year ago, and came in with inflation remaining "sticky" — but that didn’t worry the markets like the modest first estimate for GDP growth in the three months to March did on Thursday.

Earnings this week continues, headlined by results from technology giants Apple and Amazon. The Federal Reserve’s next rate decision is due out Wednesday and then April’s jobs data on Friday.

As we said at the start of this report — it never ends. 

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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