Stocks rose higher after a volatile session on Thursday as market participants bet the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its rate hiking campaign as the recent banking sector crisis weighs on the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed over 70 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3% and 1%, respectively.
Here's how the market settled on Thursday:
S&P 500 Index
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Nasdaq Composite Index
The Fed delivered a widely expected 0.25% interest rate hike on Wednesday, bringing the Federal funds rate to a target range of between 4.75% to 5%, which is its highest since October 2007.
"The U.S. banking system is sound and resilient," the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said in a statement. "Recent developments are likely to result in tighter credit conditions for households and businesses and to weigh on economic activity, hiring, and inflation. The extent of these effects is uncertain. The Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks."
Fed Chair Jerome Powell also acknowledged that the recent events in the banking system were likely to result in tighter credit conditions, but reaffirmed that the central bank is "committed to restoring price stability" in effort to bring inflation down to the Fed's desired level of 2% over time.
Technology shares benefited from investors reducing their Fed hike forecasts, as the sector was one of the hardest hit as the central bank raised rates for nine straight FOMC sessions. The SPDR Technology Select Sector
Social media stocks also rose higher as TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday as the social media platform faces a potential ban in the United States. Shares of Facebook and Instagram owner Meta Platforms
Elsewhere for stocks, Block
"The 'magic' behind Block's business had not been disruptive innovation, but rather the company's willingness to facilitate fraud against consumers and the government, avoid regulation, dress up predatory loans and fees as revolutionary technology, and mislead investors with inflated metrics," the research firms wrote in the report.
"We've essentially 'refounded' Ford, with business segments that provide new degrees of strategic clarity, insight and accountability to the Ford+ plan for growth and value," CFO John Lawler said in a release.
On the economic front, initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell on Thursday, totaling 191,000 for the week ended March 18, according to the Labor Department's report. That was a decline of 1,000 from the previous period, signaling continued strength in the labor market despite macroeconomic pressures on the U.S. economy.
Looking ahead, investors will continue to monitor developments in the banking sector for signs of contagion.