S&P 500 Eyes End of Weekly Losing Streak as Inflation Cools, Tech Climbs

By Yasin Ebrahim

Financial Eye — The S&P 500 jumped Friday, as data showing easing inflation pressures helped tech build on recent momentum, keeping the broader market in position to snap a seven-week losing streak.

The rose 2%, the gained 1.5%, or 477 points, the was up 2.9%.

The core personal consumption expenditures, or PCE, price index, which excludes food and energy and is the preferred Fed inflation gauge, in the 12 months through April, slower than the 3.2% reported in the prior month.

As well as slowing inflation, data showing that consumer spending remains resilient renewed investor optimism in the consumer following mixed quarterly results from retailers.

Some economists, however, warned that while the strength of spending would keep the economy in good shape, inflation likely faces a challenge to moderate on its own. That would keep pressure on the Fed to persist with rate hikes.

“In response, the Fed will have to more aggressively rein in demand to align with a supply-constrained economy,” Diane Swonk at Grant Thornton said in a note.

The latest quarterly results continued to show a mixed picture on the consumer, with those at the lower-end of the income scale getting squeezed by rising cost pressures.

Gap (NYSE:) reported that missed analysts’ forecasts and painted a gloomy picture for the year ahead after slashing guidance on growth. Its shares cut early-day losses to jump more than 3%.

Gap “suffered from inventory imbalances along with having exposure to the lower income consumer,” Deutsche Bank said in a note after cutting its price target on the retailer to $12 from $17 a share.

Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:), meanwhile, raised its outlook for the full year after reporting that topped Wall Street estimates, sending its shares more than 11% higher.

“We believe ULTA has set an achievable (if not beatable) guidance following a strong 1Q’22 results,” UBS said.

Tech, which is also poised to snap seven straight weeks of losses, continued to rack up gains, led by Apple (NASDAQ:) and Google (NASDAQ:) as well as strength in the chip stocks.

Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:) reported that beat analysts’ forecasts on both the top and bottom lines as growing demand for data centers, 5G and electric vehicles bolstered growth. Its shares jumped more than 6%.