Stocks rallied steadily higher Friday, with the Nasdaq bucking an Apple-fueled ( AAPL ) slide after officials hinted the Federal Reserve may be held back from raising interest rates at its September meeting.
The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) added 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite ( ^IXIC ) put up around 0.2% as Apple shares rebounded from a two-day slide that dragged down tech stocks.
Investors are weighing comments from several Fed policymakers that suggest they may avoid further rate hikes this year. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said on Thursday that US monetary policy was in a good place, although officials said the stress was driven by economic data.
Inflation data is key to the Fed’s decision to keep rates on hold for longer, and concerns about rising energy prices and their growing potential to fuel inflationary pressures. The start of a strike at Chevron’s natural gas plants in Australia – which supplies more than 5% of global LNG supplies – saw European gas futures (NG=F) jump on Friday. That will also widen concerns following the recent oil price slump (CL=F).
Apple shares tumbled this week on reports of Chinese iPhone use by government officials and state-owned companies, wiping nearly $200 billion off its stock market value. The slide particularly hit the iPhone maker’s Asian suppliers, sending jitters through the markets. The stock was up just over 1% early Friday.
But with Apple just days away from launching its next iPhone model, some analysts are fired up about the stock — meaning the plunge may not be over yet. Similarly, Samsung positions its new Galaxy foldable smartphones as key competitors to take market share from the iPhone.
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