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Friday, Dec 08, 2023

Wall Street up 4th Week in Row on Record Highs as Investors ‘Accept’ High Inflation

Wall Street up 4th Week in Row on Record Highs as Investors ‘Accept’ High Inflation

US stocks hit record highs on Friday before rounding out a fourth straight week of gains, powered by mostly strong corporate earnings for the third quarter and investors’ acceptance that high inflation was likely to be a way of life in the United States.

All three of Wall Street’s major equity indexes - the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index - hit all-time highs in their last session for October, capping out a perfect month for stock bulls who saw cumulative gains of between 5% and 7% over the past four weeks from each of the three indices.

Friday’s rally capped a quarter of blockbuster profits for most US corporations in the banking to healthcare, auto, technology and the entertainment sectors.

Still, not all companies had stellar earnings, with online commerce behemoth Amazon and consumer tech giant Apple notably missing analysts’ forecasts for the quarter.

US consumer sentiment also remains at risk from soaring inflation although Americans seem resigned to higher costs from economic upheavals caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Michigan said in the latest iteration of its closely-watched consumer survey on Friday.

The survey showed that the US Federal Reserve’s annual inflation gauge hitting a 30-year high in September, keeping the pressure up on the central bank’s policy makers as well as the White House in reigning in surging costs.

“Despite all the mounting inflationary fears, the growth outlook for next year is still robust and that will keep investors betting on US growth exceptionalism,” Ed Moya, analyst at online trading platform OANDA, said.

The Dow, a blue-chip index which groups mostly industrial stocks, closed up 89 points, 0.3%, at 35,820. It hit a record high of 35,893 earlier in the session. For October, the Dow rose 5.8%.

The S&P 500, which consists of the top 500 US stocks, settled up 9 points, 0.2%, at 4,605. It hit an all-time high of 4,609 earlier. For the month, the S&P was up 6.9%.

Nasdaq, which groups Big Tech names such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, closed the day up 50 points, or 0.3%, at 15,498, after hitting a record high at 15,504. For October, the tech-heavy index gained 7.3%.


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