Los Angeles Times

Stocks rebound broadly, post gain for week


Wall Street capped a volatile day of trading Friday with a broad rally that snapped the market’s threeday losing streak.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 2% after clawing back from a 1% skid that followed a 1% surge at the start of trading. Other stock indexes went through similar zigzags but finished with solid gains.

The late-afternoon turnaround made up for some of the losses that the market began racking up after kicking off the week with the S&P 500’s biggest gain since June. The index, which briefly slipped into the red for the year Thursday, managed to end the week 0.8% higher, its first weekly gain in three weeks.

The S&P 500 rose 73.47 points to 3,841.94. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 572.16 points, or 1.9%, to 31,496.30. Earlier, it had been down 157 points. The Nasdaq composite climbed 196.68 points, or 1.6%, to 12,920.15. The tech-heavy index earlier f lipped between a gain of 1.2% and a loss of 2.6%.

Smaller-company stocks out-gained the broader market, as they have all year. The Russell 2000 index rose 45.29 points, or 2.1%, to 2,192.21.

The spark for all the uncertaint­y Friday was a government report that showed employers added hundreds of thousands more jobs last month than economists expected. It helped lift Treasury yields, with the closely watched 10-year yield momentaril­y topping 1.60%.

The yield later fell back from that midday spike and wound up at 1.56%, only slightly higher than a day earlier. It remains well above its roughly 0.90% level at the end of last year.

While the jobs report was encouragin­g, wage growth — an inflation bellwether — rose last month in line with expectatio­ns. That may have helped ease some bond investors’ inflation worries, at least for now.

For about a year, the stock market kept climbing on expectatio­ns that an economic recovery was on the way, even when the COVID-19 pandemic meant conditions at the time seemed bleak. Now that the recovery is closer on the horizon, the market is unsettled because one of the main underpinni­ngs for that incredible run is under threat: ultralow interest rates.

Yields have been climbing with rising expectatio­ns for the economy’s growth and for the inflation that could accompany it.

The worry is that inflation could take off, or something else could happen to jack up yields even further.

Higher bond yields put downward pressure on stocks generally, in part because they can steer away dollars that had been headed for the stock market. That makes investors less willing to pay as high prices for stocks.

The pressure is most intense on stocks that look the most expensive relative to their profits, as well as those bid up on expectatio­ns of fast growth far into the future.

Tech and other highgrowth companies in particular have been at the center of the downdraft. They soared more than the rest of the market for much of the pandemic, and in the years preceding it. On Friday, Tesla was the heaviest weight dragging on the S&P 500. The stock fell 3.8% and is now down 15.3% this year.

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