Stocks gain, 10-year yield falls back below 4%

U.S. stocks rallied on Friday, rounding out a big end to the week, while bond yields retreated slightly from their recent march.

At the close, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) surged 1.6%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) increased 1.1%. Contracts on the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) jumped nearly 2%.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note (^TNX) moved back and forth around the key 4% level Friday, eventually settling below the line, after services data showed economic activity expanded in February.

Crude oil traded higher, with U.S. benchmark WTI (CL=F) up at $79.71 a barrel.

On the economic data side, economic activity in the services sector grew in February for the second consecutive month as the ISM Services PMI came in at 55.1, slightly lower from 55.2 recorded in January and above economist expectations of 54.5.

February’s ISM Services figures “suggests activity continues to expand at a reasonably healthy pace, but provides further reason to doubt the idea that there has been a resurgence in growth since the start of the year,” Andrew Hunter, deputy chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note following the release.

The moves come after the Federal Reserve published a semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress that details the central bank’s plans to hike interest rates as a means to restore price stability.

Officials indicated “that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate in order to attain a stance of monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to 2% over time,” the Fed said in its report.

Stocks rallied on Thursday, with the S&P 500 trading lower for most of the session before rallying after commentary from Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic.

Bostic said he’s still open to raising rates by another quarter percentage point at the central bank’s March meeting. “I let the data guide me,” Bostic told reporters in a press briefing. “If the data continue to come in suggesting the economy is stronger than I had projected, I’ll adjust my policy trajectory.”

In this still image from video, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic speaks from Atlanta during a webinar sponsored by the 12 regional Fed banks to address the lack of racial disparity in the field of economics on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo)

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic speaks from Atlanta during a webinar sponsored by the 12 regional Fed banks to address the lack of racial disparity in the field of economics on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo)

Bostic, who isn’t a voter on monetary policy this year, wrote an essay on Wednesday calling for the Fed to raise its policy rate by 50 basis points to a range of 5%-5.25% and then keep it there until well into 2024.

Fed officials raised the benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point in February, pulling the target to stand in a range of 4.5%-4.75%. Policymakers will be releasing new projections after the central bank’s March 21-22 meeting.

In single stock moves, (AI) shares surged over 30% Friday after the company posted fiscal third quarter revenue that came at $66.7 million, beating analyst expectations of $64.2 million.

Shares of Rivian (RIVN) jumped after the EV maker said on Friday it’s keeping to the original production forecast of 50,000 vehicles in 2023.

Costco (COST) shares sank 2% after the bulk retailer posted mixed results for the second quarter. Total revenue for its latest quarter was $55.27 billion, slightly below analysts’ expectations of $55.58 billion. During the earnings call, the company provided some hopeful news on the inflation front.

ChargePoint (CHPT) shares were down Friday after the maker of EV charging stations reported disappointing results and issued softer guidance.

Shares of Amazon (AMZN) were up 3% as the company pauses construction on its second quarters in Arlington, Virginia. The move follows the tech giant’s announcements of job cuts in the wake of slowing consumer and corporate spending.

Marvell Technology (MRVL) stock fell after the company reported mixed results, with earnings in line with expectations but guidance weaker than forecasted.

Shares of Meta Platforms (META) surged 6% as the company announced it would slash prices of its Quest Pro virtual-reality headset after the product launch.

In the cryptocurrency market, both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) fell as customers pull their funds from crypto bank Silvergate (SI), whose stock plunged more than 57% during the trading session on Thursday. Following the drop in Bitcoin, the pullback is close to 10% and the digital asset was on pace to close below its 50-day moving average for the first time in almost two months, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group.

Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @daniromerotv

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