- US stocks climbed Friday, with the S&P 500 on pace to snap a two-week losing streak.
- Fed officials this week gave some conflicting views on the pace and size of coming rate hikes.
- Wall Street firms and policymakers continue to warn about the downsides of strong economic data.
US stocks climbed Friday, with the S&P 500 on pace to finish the week with a gain after notching its worst weekly performance of the year last week.
Markets continued to assess mixed mixed messaging from policymakers on the path of interest rates. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said the central bank should keep its next rate hike to 25 basis points, but Fed Governor Christopher J. Waller struck a more hawkish tone, noting that a higher terminal rate remains on the table given strong economic data.
“If those data reports continue to come in too hot, the policy target range will have to be raised this year even more to ensure that we do not lose the momentum that was in place before the data for January were released,” Waller said in comments to the Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America.
Meanwhile, manufacturing data shows the sector is in a recession, according to Bank of America. The ISM manufacturing index rose from 47.4 to 47.7 in February, which marked the first increase since July 2022 yet the fourth consecutive print below 50.
“Of the 23 instances when the index has printed below 50 for four consecutive months, ten have occurred during a recession and five have occurred up to six months prior to a recession,” BofA strategists wrote in a Friday note.
Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Friday:
Here’s what else is going on:
In commodities, bonds, and crypto:
- Oil prices dropped, with West Texas Intermediate down 2.39% to $76.29 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, declined 2.23% to $82.86 a barrel
- Gold edged higher 0.71% to $1,853.50 per ounce
- The 10-year yield ticked lower by nine basis points to 3.983%
- Bitcoin fell 4.65% to $22,396.22