Stocks rose Friday, building on the historic turnaround rally a day earlier as investors bet that inflation has peaked.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 215 points, or 0.72%. The S&P 500 gained 0.63%, and the Nasdaq Composite ticked up 0.87%.
Stock futures wavered in premarket trading on mixed results from big banks. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo gained after revenue topped expectations, while Morgan Stanley and Citigroup both announced profit misses.
The outlook for this earnings season is not good. Profit for S&P 500 companies increased a measly 2.4% in the third quarter, according to the latest analyst estimates collected by FactSet, the worst growth since third quarter 2020, the heart of the pandemic.
When the third quarter began, earnings growth was expected to be 10% for the period, but rising costs and interest rates have eaten away at companies’ bottom lines. Leading up to the start of this reporting season, 65 S&P companies have issued negative guidance, compared to just 41 giving positive outlooks, FactSet data shows.
The reports come a day after the market staged a massive comeback. The Dow ended Thursday’s session up 827 points after being down more than 500 points at the intraday low. The S&P 500 rose 2.6% to break a six-day losing streak, and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.2%.
Thursday marked the fifth largest intraday reversal from a low in the history of the S&P 500, and it was the fourth largest for the Nasdaq, according to SentimenTrader.
The moves followed the release of the consumer price index, a key US inflation reading that came in hotter than expected for the month of September. Initially, this weighed on markets as investors braced themselves for the Federal Reserve to continue with its aggressive rate-hiking plan. Later, however, they shrugged off those worries.
Still, persistent inflation remains a problem for the Fed and for investors’ worries around the central bank’s policy tightening.
“With core CPI still moving in the wrong direction and the labor market strong, the conditions are not in place for a Fed policy pivot, which would be one of the conditions for a sustained rally in the equity market,” wrote UBS global wealth management chief investment officer Mark Haefele in a Friday note. “Moreover, as inflation remains elevated for longer and the Fed hikes further, the risk increases that the cumulative effect of policy tightening pushes the US economy into recession, undermining the outlook for corporate earnings.”