Stocks gain momentum in the first week of 2023

Stocks gain momentum in the first week of 2023

U.S. stock markets rallied Friday as the labour market continued to improve, following trends highlighted by December's employment data, which showed wage growth deceleration. Investors were optimistic about the release because it suggested that Federal Reserve officials may lower their rate-hiking campaign.

How did the indexes perform this week?

The S&P 500 jumped 2.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial was up 2.1%. The Nasdaq Composite surged 2.6%. All 3 of the major averages were on pace to finish the week with losses before Friday.

The last job report out of the U.S. showed that the economy added 223,000 payrolls in December while unemployment fell to 3.5%. Economists had been expecting 200,000 jobs and a 3.7% unemployment rate.

The number of jobs available is increasing at a steady pace. The Fed's tools to help employers find and fill positions have been helping to adjust this curve. Job opportunities in general remain bountiful despite slow hiring patterns.

"With over 1.8 unfilled jobs for every unemployed person, investors should expect higher rates for longer after today’s release," Lazard Chief Market Strategist Ron Temple said in a note. "As long as the labour market remains this tight, the Fed cannot rest assured that inflation will return to its 2% target."

Stocks in the News

Tesla lost around 7% earlier this week after reducing car prices in China following a December drop in deliveries, the shares were up 2.5%. World Wrestling Entertainment shares surged 16.8% after The Wall Street Journal reported former chief executive Vince McMahon will return to explore a sale of the business.

Costco stock gained 7.3%, emerging from a six-month low after the bulk retailer released upbeat December sales data. Biogen shares closed 2.8% higher after the FDA granted approval for their new Alzheimer’s drug.

Bed Bath & Beyond slid another 22.5% on Friday after revealing that the company was exploring bankruptcy as it runs out of cash.

Also Read: Top 10 Stocks to Buy in 2023

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