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Wall St bounces back on boost from banks

US stock indexes have climbed as investors bought beaten-down banks and Apple shares after a turbulent last week in which the benchmark S&P 500 came close to confirming a grim market milestone on worries about economic growth and inflation.

All of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced, with financials and energy up 3.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively.

Banks added 6.1 per cent after falling 16.7 per cent so far this year.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co jumped 7.7 per cent after the biggest US lender by assets lifted its 2022 outlook for net interest income and affirmed its profitability target.

“Banks are in oversold conditions. They tend to be very economically sensitive and with the data so far, they are actually holding up,” said Jeff Schulze, investment strategist at ClearBridge Investments.

“There’s some optimism that there has been an overpricing of negativity into the earnings potential for banks over the course of the next couple of quarters.”

Battered growth stocks Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp rose between 2.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Wall Street’s main indexes deepened year-to-date losses last week as dismal forecasts from Walmart Inc and other retailers added to worries about surging inflation and its impact on consumers and economic growth.

The benchmark S&P 500 fell more than 20 per cent from its January 3 record closing high at one point on Friday, pushing it to the brink of confirming a bear market.

The index is now down 17.9 per cent from its all-time closing peak.

“Today is a bounce from oversold conditions over the last couple of months. The markets are looking for a tradable bottom here in potentially a bear market rally,” Schulze said.

Readings on the second estimate of first-quarter US GDP, PCE price index and durable goods data for April are due this week, likely providing clues on how the world’s largest economy is faring amid decades-high inflation.

The Federal Reserve’s May meeting minutes, due on Wednesday, will be closely parsed for signs on how aggressively the US central bank is planning to raise interest rates.

Money markets are pricing in 50-basis point rate hikes by the Fed in June and July.

In early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 672.35 points, or 2.15 per cent, at 31,934.25, the S&P 500 was up 68.12 points, or 1.75 per cent, at 3,969.48 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 134.50 points, or 1.18 per cent, at 11,489.11, but still underperformed its peers as Amazon.com shares weighed.

Cloud service provider VMware Inc surged 20.7 per cent after reports over the weekend said chipmaker Broadcom Inc was in talks to acquire the company.

Broadcom fell 2.6 per cent.

US-listed shares of Didi Global added 1.3 per cent after a majority of the Chinese ride-hailing giant’s shareholders voted in favour of its plan to delist from the New York Stock Exchange.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 3.00-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.56-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and 31 new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 22 new highs and 110 new lows.

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