Late-Day Surge Contributes To Higher Close On Wall Street

Stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Wednesday but managed to end the day mostly higher thanks to a late-day surge. With the upward move, the Dow and the S&P 500 snapped three-day losing streaks.

The major averages all moved to the upside, with the Dow posting a standout gain. While the Dow jumped 477.75 points or 1.2 percent to 39,760.08, the S&P 500 advanced 44.91 points or 0.9 percent to 5,248.49 and the Nasdaq climbed 83.82 points or 0.5 percent to 16,399.52.

The strength on Wall Street came as traders once again looked to pick up stocks at somewhat reduced levels after early buying interest faded over the course of Tuesday’s session.

The major averages spent much of Tuesday’s session in positive territory before coming under pressure in the final hour of trading.

A decrease by treasury yields may also have contributed to the strength in the markets amid ongoing optimism about the outlook for interest rates following the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement last week.

While the Fed left interest rates unchanged, as widely expected, officials maintained their forecast for three rate cuts this year.

Following the Fed announcement, the chances of a 25 basis point rate cut in June have rebounded to 63.5 percent, according to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

Trading activity remained relatively subdued, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Traders may also have been reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of reports on weekly jobless claims, Chicago business activity and pending home sales on Thursday.

A report on personal income and spending that includes readings on inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve is also due to be released while the markets are closed on Good Friday.

The holiday will also see Fed Chair Jerome Powell participate in a moderated discussion before the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Macroeconomics and Monetary Policy Conference.

Sector News

Gold stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day, resulting in a 3.7 percent surge by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. With the gain, the index reached a nearly three-month closing high.

The rally by gold stocks came amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for June delivery climbing $13.50 to $2,212.70 an ounce.

Interest rate-sensitive utilities and commercial real estate stocks also saw considerable strength, driving the Dow Jones Utility Average and the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index up by 2.7 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Airline, banking and steel stocks also showed strong moves to the upside as the day progressed, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped by 1.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, European stocks moved mostly higher on the day. While the German DAX Index climbed by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index closed just above the unchanged line.

In the bond market, treasuries climbed firmly into positive territory over the course of the session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 3.8 basis points to 4.196 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading on Thursday may be impacted by reaction to reports on weekly jobless claims, Chicago business activity and pending home sales.

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