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Apple Propels Wall Street to A Substantially Higher Closing Price

Charlie Brooks

May 18, 2022 10:03


Wall Street closed Tuesday significantly higher, led by Apple, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), and other mega cap growth firms, as April's robust retail sales allayed fears of an economic slowdown.

Ten of the eleven major S&P sector indexes rose, with the financials, materials, consumer discretionary, and technology sectors all gaining more than 2 percent.

Investors were pleased to learn that U.S. retail sales rose 0.9% in April as customers purchased automobiles in response to an improvement in supply and dined at restaurants.

Recent underperformers Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Tesla Inc, and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher by between 2% and 5.1%.

The broad rally on Tuesday follows several weeks of selling on the U.S. stock market, during which the S&P 500 reached its lowest level since March 2021.

"The major segments of stocks that investors often purchase have been substantially depressed. They are either in a market correction or bear market "According to Defiance ETF's chief investment officer, Sylvia Jablonski. I believe investors are seeking opportunities to buy on the drop, and today may be a good time to do so.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) climbed over 8 percent after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa) reported a roughly $3 billion investment in the U.S. lender. The S&P 500 Banks index increased by 3.8%.

Another set of economic data revealed that industrial production increased by 1.1% in April, exceeding forecasts of 0.5% and outpacing the 0.9% increase in March.

Bill Adams, chief economist for Comerica (NYSE:CMA) Bank in Dallas, stated, "This is consistent with ongoing economic expansion in the second quarter and not a current recession."

Fed Chair Jerome Powell stated at an event on Tuesday that the Federal Reserve will "keep pushing" to tighten monetary policy until it is evident that inflation is dropping.

Traders estimate a probability of 85 percent for a 50-basis point rate hike in June.

The S&P 500 finished the session at 4,088.85 points, up 2.02%.

The Nasdaq increased by 2.76 percent to 11,984.52 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 1.34 percent to 32,654.52 points.

39 times so far in 2022, the S&P 500 has risen or lost 2 percent or more in a session, compared to 24 times in all of 2021. This demonstrates Wall Street's recent volatility.

GRAPHIC-S&P 500's busiest trades - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/zgpomemlwpd/SPX by busiest trades.png

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) fell 11.4% after the retail giant lowered its annual profit prediction and signaled a damage to its margins. Since 1987, this was the largest one-day percentage decline for Walmart's stock.

Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Target (NYSE:TGT), and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) all declined between 0.8% and 3.2%.

United Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ:UAL) rose 7.9 percent after the company raised its revenue prediction for the current quarter, lifting shares of Delta Air, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), and Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE).

Concerns over the situation in Ukraine, increasing inflation, COVID-19 lockdowns in China, and aggressive policy tightening by central banks have obscured the first-quarter earnings season.

The S&P 500 is down about 14% so far in 2022, and the Nasdaq is off around 23%, hit by tumbling growth stocks.

Chinese stocks listed in the United States rose on expectations that China may soften its restrictions on the technology sector.

On the NYSE, advancing issues outweighed declining ones by a ratio of 2.92 to 1; on the Nasdaq, the ratio was 3.19 to 1.

The S&P 500 recorded one new 52-week high and thirty new lows, but the Nasdaq Composite recorded 24 new 52-week highs and 126 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 12.0 billion shares, compared to a 20-day average of 13.3 billion shares.