Wall Street, Europe, and Asia ended week 19 with modest gains ahead of crucial inflation data

By TrendsWatch 7 Min Read

The U.S. stock market, Asia, and Europe all saw gains in Week 19.

In the U.S., stocks closed higher on Friday. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes rose, while the Nasdaq remained steady. Despite some ups and downs on Friday, all three indexes ended the week with gains. The Dow had its biggest weekly increase since mid-December.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40, London’s FTSE 100, and Frankfurt’s DAX all reached new all-time highs. This was driven by hopes of interest rate cuts and strong economic data. The French stock exchange gained 0.8%, surpassing its previous record. Additionally, the UK economy showed stronger-than-expected growth, exiting recession.

The Asia-Pacific stocks also increased on Friday. Hong Kong and Japan saw gains, while China’s markets remained relatively stable..

U.S Market overview

U.S. stocks closed up modestly on Friday, with all three major indexes posting another weekly gain. Investors focused on comments from Federal Reserve officials and awaited crucial inflation data due next week.

The S&P 500 and the Dow rose, while the Nasdaq ended unchanged. Despite Friday’s mixed performance, all three indexes saw weekly gains, with the Dow recording its largest Friday-to-Friday percentage advance since mid-December.

Next week, the Labor Department will release its Consumer and Producer Price Indexes (CPI and PPI), with analysts expecting the crucial CPI report to show an underlying “core” price increase of 3.6% year-on-year, the coolest reading in over three years.

Closing figures for Friday showed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.32% to 39,512.84, the S&P 500 up 0.16% to 5,222.68, and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.03% to 16,340.87. 

Compared to last week’s, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 1.18% to 38,675.68, the S&P 500 gained 1.26% to 5,127.79, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged by 1.99% to 16,156.33.

Consumer staples for the week in view enjoyed the largest percentage gains among the S&P 500’s 11 major sectors, while consumer discretionary shares lagged.

First-quarter earnings season is nearing its end, with 77% of S&P 500 companies that have reported delivering results beating consensus expectations, according to LSEG data.

In individual stock moves, Nvidia gained 1.3% after its major supplier, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, reported a near 60% jump in April sales. Novavax shares surged 98.7% following a licensing deal worth up to $1.2 billion with Sanofi. SoundHound AI jumped 7.2% after beating first-quarter revenue estimates.

Declining issues slightly outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE, while on the Nasdaq, decliners had a greater lead. The S&P 500 posted 58 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 95 new highs and 105 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.47 billion shares, compared with the 10.87 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Asia-Pacific markets overview

In Asia-Pacific markets, Japan’s Nikkei share average rebounded, buoyed by positive earnings and Wall Street gains, although profit-taking capped further advances. The Nikkei closed 0.41% higher at 38,229.11, with the broader Topix finishing up 0.54% at 2728.21.

Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index jumped to a nine-month high on optimism over the potential scrapping of some dividend taxes and new initiatives to boost Chinese property purchases. The Hang Seng Index climbed 2.3%, with some of the biggest gains in stocks with relatively high dividend yields.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed nearly flat, while the Shenzhen Component Index fell 0.58%. Shanghai’s tech-heavy STAR 50 Index lost 1.5%, while Shenzhen’s similar ChiNext Index fell 1.15%.

In Friday’s trading, Asia-Pacific stocks increased, with shares in Hong Kong climbing for the second session. The Hang Seng Index rose 2.3% to 18,963.68, while the Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.4% to 38,229.11. China’s Shanghai Composite Index was flat.

Europe’s market overview:

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 stock index climbed to a new all-time high, joining London and Frankfurt which also hit fresh records earlier in the day. The French stock exchange gained 0.8% to 8,256.62 points, beating its previous record set on March 28, as hopes of interest-rate cuts sent European markets higher.

London’s FTSE 100 hit a fresh peak after official data showed the UK economy exited recession with stronger-than-expected growth in the first quarter. This came a day after the Bank of England kept interest rates at a 16-year high but signalled that cuts were on the way.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index, the Frankfurt DAX, and the Amsterdam stock exchange also reached new record highs.

Furthermore, France stocks were higher after the close on Friday, with gains in the Financials, Industrials, and Basic Materials sectors leading shares higher. At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.38% to hit a new all-time high, while the SBF 120 index added 0.66%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Teleperformance SE, which rose 3.80%, Legrand SA, which added 2.84%, and Societe Generale SA, which was up 2.61%.

The worst performers of the session were Airbus Group SE, which fell 1.60%, Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin SCA, which declined 0.56%, and Thales, which was down 0.51%.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 rose 0.1%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.21%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 3 points, or 0.01%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 ended 0.7% higher, with indexes in major economies Germany and France finishing at record highs. European shares have resumed their record-breaking rally, with the STOXX 600 notching a 3% weekly gain, after investors took a breather in April.

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