Stocks rise, Dow eyes 8th straight win as rate-cut hopes abound

US stocks rose on Friday, setting the Dow up for an eighth straight day of gains as investors waited for a parade of Fed speakers to test a growing confidence that a rate cut is on the way.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) climbed roughly 0.2%, with the benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) gaining about 0.3% on the heels of closing above 5,200 for the first time in a month. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) also jumped around 0.2% at the opening bell.

The blue-chip Dow has powered higher, scoring its longest win streak this year as stocks made a comeback from April’s doldrums. The growing conviction that the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates earlier than expected — given recent signs of a cooling labor market — has buoyed the rally.

Read more: How does the labor market affect inflation?

Given that, investors will listen closely to speeches from a packed lineup of Fed speakers on Friday for more insight into timing, pace, and chance of an easing in policy. Michelle Bowman, Neel Kashkari, and Austan Goolsbee are among those scheduled to appear.

Earlier, Atlanta Fed boss Raphael Bostic said he sees a single rate cut late this year but echoed fellow official Mary Daly’s preference for waiting for a more robust signal that price pressures are easing.

On the corporate front, TSMC (TSM) shares popped after the Taiwanese contract chipmaking giant said its sales jumped 60% in April. It credited sustained AI demand paired with a revival in consumer electronics such as smartphones.

Live5 updates

  • Stocks trending in early trading: Novavax, TSM, Nvidia

    Here are the stocks on Yahoo Finance’s trending ticker page early Friday:

    Novavax (NVAX): Shares of the the pharmaceutical company soared more than 130% on Friday after it said it reached a $1.4 billion deal with French company Sanofi to co-commercialize its current COVID-19 vaccine worldwide.

    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM): Shares climbed on Friday, up about 5%, after the chipmaker said its April sales surged 60% year over year, signaling lasting demand for AI-powered chips. TSM is a key supplier for tech titans including Nvidia (NVDA), and AMD (AMD), which rallied on the heels of the TSM’s results.

    SoundHound (SOUN): Shares of the artificial intelligence company jumped more than 15% after it posted revenue growth of 73% in the first quarter and boosted its full-year revenue outlook for 2024. The company’s CEO Keyvan Mohajersaid said voice AI is quickly becoming a must-have tool for customer service.

    Sweetgreen (SG): Shares surged 40% on Friday after the fast-casual salad chain reported first quarter earnings that beat expectations and also boosted its full-year outlook on higher menu prices. Same-store sales climbed 5% in the quarter amid those higher prices with the company also touting its new steak offering, which was officially added to menus on May 7.

  • Consumer sentiment tumbles in May as inflation, interest rate worries take hold

    Americans are becoming increasingly worried about sticky inflation and the prospect of high interest rates for longer than initially hoped.

    The latest University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey released Friday revealed a 13% decline in overall sentiment during the month of May. The index reading for the month came in at 67.4, its lowest level in six months, and well below economist expectations for a reading of 76.2.

    Year-ahead inflation expectations hit 3.5% in Friday’s report, up from 3.2% in the month prior. Longer-run inflation expectations rose to 3.1%, up from 3% the month prior.

    “While consumers had been reserving judgment for the past few months, they now perceive negative developments on a number of dimensions,” Survey of Consumers director Joanne Hsu said in a statement. “They expressed worries that inflation, unemployment and interest rates may all be moving in an unfavorable direction in the year ahead.”

  • Stocks open higher; Dow aims for its 8th straight day of gains

    Stocks opened higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) looking to end the week with its eighth straight win following a particularly sluggish April for markets.

    At the opening bell, the Dow rose roughly 0.2%, and the benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained about 0.3% on the heels of closing above 5,200 for the first time in a month. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) also jumped around 0.2%.

    The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX) rose about 4 basis points to trade near 4.49%.

    The gains come as investors appear more confident the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates sooner than expected after an April jobs report pointed to signs of a cooling labor market.

    A slew of Fed speakers on the docket Friday could offer more clarity on the path forward for interest rates. Michelle Bowman, Neel Kashkari, and Austan Goolsbee are all scheduled to appear.

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Read More: Stocks rise, Dow eyes 8th straight win as rate-cut hopes abound