Home » Wall St edges up with tech-focused shares; regional banks fall

Wall St edges up with tech-focused shares; regional banks fall

by WorldFinance
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Wall St edges up with tech-focused shares; regional banks fall
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 29, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were moderately higher on Thursday afternoon, helped by gains in technology-related shares, while regional bank shares eased and investors braced for key inflation data Friday.

The February reading of personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index due Friday may offer more clues about the Federal Reserve’s interest rate path. January figures showed a sharp acceleration in consumer spending.

Shares of U.S. regional banks fell after the Biden administration proposed stronger measures to help reduce risk of future banking crises.

The KBW regional bank index fell 1.7%, and the financial index was the only S&P 500 sector in negative territory on the day.

The S&P 500 technology index was up about 1%, adding to its strong gains for the quarter, and giving the S&P 500 its biggest boost.

“Tech is probably the furthest sector removed from financials,” so there has been a sector rotation away from financials, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital in Chicago.

The semiconductor group rose 1.5%, extending Wednesday’s strong gains.

The banking turmoil, which started earlier this month with the collapse of two regional U.S. lenders, had sparked concerns about a broader financial crisis.

The rose 101.01 points, or 0.31%, to 32,818.61, the S&P 500 gained 17.69 points, or 0.44%, at 4,045.5 and the added 72.47 points, or 0.61%, at 11,998.70.

Data earlier on Thursday showed jobless claims last week rose more than expected from the week before, indicating a cooling labor market. Separately, fourth-quarter GDP growth was slightly lower at 2.6% compared with earlier estimates of 2.7%, both supporting the case for a softer Fed policy.

Among other stocks, Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc rose 2.2% after the company said it had started production of its first luxury electric car after a months-long delay.

U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba (NYSE:) Group Holding advanced 3% on a report that its logistics arm had started preparations with banks for its Hong Kong initial public offering, while those of JD (NASDAQ:).Com jumped 8.8% on plans to spin off its real estate infrastructure arm.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.26-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.11-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted seven new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 55 new highs and 129 new lows.

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