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U.S. Stocks Give Back Ground After Early Move To The Upside

After an initial move to the upside, stocks have given back ground over the course of the trading session on Friday. The major averages have pulled back well off their early highs, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq dipping into negative territory.

Currently, the major averages are narrowly mixed. While the Nasdaq is down 16.23 points or 0.1 percent at 16,330.04, the S&P 500 is up 3.51 points or 0.1 percent at 5,217.59 and the Dow is up 68.71 points or 0.2 percent at 39,456.47.

The early strength on Wall Street partly reflected renewed optimism about the outlook for interest rates, which has helped drive the Dow to a seven-day winning streak.

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Recent data has pointed to some softness in the U.S. labor market, increasing investor confidence the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates in the coming months.

While the Fed is still widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged in June, there is a 76.2 percent chance rates will be lower by September, according to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

However, the early buying interest was partly offset by the release of a report from the University of Michigan showing a substantial deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of May.

The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index plunged to 67.4 in May from 77.2 in April. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 76.0.

With the much steeper than expected drop, the consumer sentiment index tumbled to its lowest level since hitting 61.3 last November.

The report also showed a notable increase in year-ahead inflation expectations, which jumped to 3.5 percent in May from 3.2 percent in April, reaching the highest level since hitting 4.5 percent last November.

Long-run inflation expectations also inched up to 3.1 percent in May from 3.0 percent in April, remaining elevated relative to the 2.2-2.6 percent range seen in the two years pre-pandemic.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Semiconductor stocks have shown a notable move to the upside, however, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index climbing by 1.0 percent.

Networking stocks are also seeing some strength on the day, while natural gas and retail stocks have moved to the downside.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged by 2.3 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has climbed by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have come under pressure over the course of the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 5.1 basis points at 4.500 percent.

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