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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Stock markets shoot higher as an end-of-year relief rally kicks off

U.S. markets shot higher in early Thursday as investors looked to recover from a rocky couple days this week.

At 10:00 ET (15:00 GMT), the S&P 500 traded up 1.3% to 3832, while the NASDAQ Composite was up 1.9% at 10405. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 0.8% higher, and the Russell 2000 traded up 1.9%.

Initial jobless claims ticked higher last week as expected by economists, while continuing jobless claims came in slightly ahead of economist expectations. It’s possible that investors digging for signs that the economy is slowing so the Federal Reserve can ease off their monetary policy tightening are reacting to that data, though it is just as feasible that after heavy tax-loss selling earlier this week, many went looking for bargains.

Befitting a positive day in the markets, most major stocks shot higher. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) was up 7% and above $120/share, as longtime bullish shop Morgan Stanley came out with a ‘buy the dip’ note, even as they cut their price target to $250. Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBD) was up 4.7% in early trading and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was up 4%.

An exception to this bullish trend was Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:CALM), which dropped 11.7% in early trading after its earnings report beat expectations, but included news of a meaningful price hike due to a rise in feed costs. Goldman Sachs traded up only 0.4% as reports came out from Bloomberg that the investment bank was planning another round of job cuts that will be ‘unveiled in a matter of weeks’.

Crude Oil WTI Futures dipped again, down 1.7% to $77.6/barrel, with Brent Oil Futures down 1.5% to $82.75. Natural gas continued its precipitous fall, down 3.9% to $4.5.

The US Dollar dropped 0.3%, giving back yesterday’s gains, with the EUR/USD up a corresponding 0.38% to $1.0648. Bitcoin (BitfinexUSD) traded around $16670, in line with its price through the week, as Cannacord made the case it could be years before we see a bitcoin bull market return. Gold bounced back up to $1825/oz, a .5% gain.

U.S. stocks jumped to a sharply higher close and Treasury yields touched two-week highs on Wednesday as robust economic data, upbeat corporate guidance and easing geopolitical concerns boosted investor risk appetite.

Front-month crude futures dropped following a report that U.S. stockpiles of crude and gasoline unexpectedly surged last week.

Economic data showed an unexpected acceleration of services activity and a robust increase in factory orders, suggesting that the economy was healthy enough to withstand the hawkish monetary policy from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard underscored that hawkishness by reiterating the central bank’s intention to “be tough” on inflation until it cools down to the Fed’s average annual 2% target.

A drop in oil prices accelerated after a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed an unexpected surge in U.S. crude and gasoline stocks, which followed the OPEC+ group of crude producers’ announcement that it would increase its production by a mere 100,000 barrels per day.

“Oil is still up 25% from the beginning of the year,” Pursche added. “This recent drop is a combined result of that and a reflection that there is going to be an economic slowdown. T

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