Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Thursday at the end of a bruising month as investors kept a close watch on funding negotiations in Washington to prevent a government shutdown.
The benchmark S&P 500 was still on course to snap its seven-month winning streak, due to worries about inflation, fallout from China Evergrande’s potential default and wrangling over the debt ceiling.
A report from the Commerce Department revised second-quarter growth to be slightly higher, while Labor Department data showed weekly jobless claims rose more than expected, showing that the job market remained under pressure.
“While slower growth is a concern, it’s encouraging to see a bit of a bump on (GDP) front … as we wrap up the third quarter and look ahead, investors will likely need to remain nimble as the economic recovery continues in a zig zag,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director, investment strategy at E*TRADE Financial.
Five of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in early trading, with technology the top gainer followed by healthcare and communication services.
The energy sector was the biggest loser, but was headed for its best monthly performance since February. The S&P financials sector was also tracking its sixth straight quarterly gain.
Heavyweight tech stocks edged higher, recovering from steep losses suffered earlier this week.
Still, excluding Netflix, the rate-sensitive FAANG stocks have lost a combined $415 billion in value this month after the Federal Reserve’s hawkish shift on monetary policy sparked a rally in Treasury yields and prompted investors to move into sectors that stand to benefit the most from an economic revival.
Netflix is set to add nearly 8 percent in September.
“While Fed officials seem more hawkish when it comes to interest rate hikes, a gradual movement to normalized rates would neither be bad for the economy nor the market,” said Tom Mantione, managing director, UBS Private Wealth Management, in Stamford, Connecticut.
At 9:45 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 13.29 points, or 0.04 percent, at 34,404.01, the S&P 500 was up 13.12 points, or 0.30 percent, at 4,372.58, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 83.65 points, or 0.58 percent, at 14,596.09.
Perrigo Co. jumped 11.8 percent after the drugmaker agreed to settle with Irish tax authorities over a 2018 issue by paying $1.90 billion in taxes.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.66–to–1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.8–to–1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and 54 new lows.
By Devik Jain and Ambar Warrick