US stocks climb on cooler inflation data as the S&P 500 heads for a winning quarter
US stocks climbed on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on pace for a winning first quarter.
Friday data showed core PCE, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, cooled more than expected.
The Nasdaq 100 this week entered a bull market, closing Wednesday 20% above its December low.
US stocks moved higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 on pace to notch winning quarters, despite economic uncertainty and a sudden bank crisis in March.
The benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq are up roughly 5.5% and 14.8%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down slightly in that stretch.
Stocks prevailed in a strong quarter despite broader headwinds that included the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and other banks, a forced-takeover of Credit Suisse, and fears of wider contagion throughout the financial system.
Notably, the Nasdaq on Wednesday closed 20% higher than its December low, marking the start of a new bull market.
Meanwhile, Friday data showed the core Personal Consumption Expenditures index, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, clocked in cooler than expected last month. The measure, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.3% in February, while Dow Jones economists expected a 0.4% climb.
"Inflation is still moving in the right direction, and that should ease investors' minds," eToro US analyst Callie Cox said Friday. "Of course, this data was taken before banking issues popped up, so it should be taken with a grain of salt. But it does show that rate hikes are working, and that the Fed could have some room to lay off the brake."
Here's where US indexes stood as the market opened 9:30 a.m. on Friday:
S&P 500: 4,062.54, up 0.29%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,006.34, up 0.45% (147.31 points)
Nasdaq Composite: 12,038.69, up 0.2%
Here's what else is going on:
The dollar slipped this quarter after surging in 2022, and those struggles could be a sign of things to come.
Electric truck maker Nikola is planning to sell its own shares at a 20% discount.
Jim Bianco said the S&P 500's gains this year are thanks to only eight stocks.
Money-market funds raked in $300 billion in three weeks as banks face a "bleed-out".
Billionaire Bill Gross said the Fed easing up in fighting inflation could fuel a rally in government bonds.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway likely scored a $30 billion gain on Apple stock this year.
In commodities, bonds, and crypto:
Oil prices climbed, with West Texas Intermediate up 0.79% to $74.96 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, inched higher 0.26% to $79.48 a barrel.
Gold edged lower 0.16% to $1,994.60 per ounce.
The 10-year Treasury yield ticked lower three basis points to 3.51%.
Bitcoin moved higher 0.78% to $28,243.21.
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