S&P 500, Nasdaq end higher for 4th straight day

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street stocks finished solidly higher Thursday, extending a positive stretch that has cut into the market’s losses thus far in 2022.

Equities were in positive territory the entire session, a rarely upbeat day in a year in which stocks have been dogged by worries over inflation and tightening monetary policy.

“We’ve got a rest for now,” said Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors, adding that it is too soon to declare that the market has turned.

“I don’t think (the rebound) is meaningful because we’ve got to wait on earnings,” Ogg said, alluding to a upcoming quarterly reports that investors fear will underscore a weakening economic outlook.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.1 per cent to 31,384.15.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 1.5 per cent to 3,902.47, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2.3 per cent to 11,621.35.

It was the fourth straight winning session for both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

Federal Reserve governor Christopher Waller downplayed recession fears during a fireside chat with the National Association for Business Economics, pointing to a “spectacular” job market.

The Fed’s policy committee “is dead set on getting inflation under control,” to avoid a repeat of the 1970s, Waller said, referring to the period when growth flatlined amid an inflationary spiral.

“We’re not going to let that happen,” he said.

“We may have to take the risk of causing some economic damage,” he acknowledged, but given how strong the job market is the moves are unlikely to cause “a real severe recession.”

Markets are looking ahead to Friday’s all-important government jobs report, expected to show job growth slowing, with the US economy adding 250,000 positions in June and the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.6 per cent.