• February 3, 2023

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Topline

The stock market moved higher on Tuesday in an attempt to bounce back after six consecutive weeks of heavy losses, as investors digested the latest comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who pledged to keep raising interest rates until inflation starts “coming down.”

Key Facts

Stocks widely rebounded, paring back some of the steep losses from last week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3%, over 400 points, while the S&P 500 jumped 2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 2.8%.

The market broadly moved higher—with ten out of eleven sectors in the S&P 500 posting gains, as shares of technology stocks and financials led Tuesday’s gains.

Markets initially moved higher amid a solid retail sales report and news that China could soon be taking steps to ease lockdowns in cities such as Shanghai, with optimism about reopening helping boost prospects for global economic activity.

Stocks also rose after Fed chair Jerome Powell told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that the central bank is determined to keep hiking interest rates in an effort to bring surging inflation back down to healthy levels.

“We have both the tools and the resolve to get inflation back down,” Powell said in the interview, adding that the Fed “won’t hesitate” to keep raising rates until they see consumer prices moderate—and “until we do, we’ll keep going.”

Shares of several companies jumped on Tuesday following news that famed investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed new stakes amid a $51 billion stock buying spree last quarter: Paramount surged 15%, Citi 7% and Ally 6%.

Crucial Quote:

While economic growth is “slowing,” the American consumer “still looks good and that means the economy is still positioned to avoid a recession,” says Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

Tangent:

Amid the ongoing saga over his $44 billion bid to acquire Twitter, Elon Musk called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the social media company’s user numbers, as speculation around a deal continues to swirl. Shares of Twitter rose over 2% on Tuesday, while Tesla gained more than 5%.

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Key Background:

Stocks have moved lower for six weeks in a row thanks to relentless selling pressure from concerns about surging inflation, rising interest rates, Russia’s war with Ukraine and Covid lockdowns in China. The S&P 500 has fallen 15% so far in 2022, putting the benchmark index near bear market territory (20% below record highs). The Dow is down 11%, while the Nasdaq has fallen into bear market territory, falling 24% this year.

Further Reading:

Warren Buffett’s $51 Billion Stock Market Shopping Spree: Here’s What He’s Buying (Forbes)

Stocks Keep Tanking As Growing Number Of Wall Street Experts Warn About Rising Recession Risks (Forbes)

Musk Could Try To ‘Get Out’ Of Twitter Acquisition After ‘Troubling’ Decision To Put Deal On Hold: Analysts (Forbes)

Stocks Rebound, Taking A Breather From Selloff—But Markets Are Down For The Sixth Week In A Row (Forbes)

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