S&P 500 Climbs as Energy, Tech Power Bulls By Investing.com

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© Reuters

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The S&P 500 climbed Friday, led by energy, as oil prices rode bets on crude supply disruptions from the Suez Canal jam while a rally in chip stocks helped boost tech.

The was up 0.27%, the rose 0.21%, or 67 points, the was down 0.67%.

Energy stocks racked up gains as oil prices rose 4% over the ongoing Suez Canal saga that some estimate is disrupting hundreds of thousands of barrels a day from being transported via the key shipping route.

More than 600,000 barrels a day of Middle East oil destined for the U.S. and Europe and about 850,000 barrels of crude to Asia are transported though the Suez, according to ACM Shipbroker.

While the boost to oil prices from transport disruptions will be temporary, Wall Street continues to suggest that oil prices will head higher as major oil producing countries will refrain from ramping up production too quickly.

“[W]e expect a slower ramp-up in OPEC+ production this spring to help offset both slower EM and EU demand recovery and higher Iranian exports, with global demand still set to increase sharply through the summer,” Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) said.

Financials also participated in the broader market rally following a bid in banks after the Federal Reserve gave the green light for banks to resume dividends and stock buybacks.

Cyclicals were unfazed by weaker-expected-expected consumer spending February, with economists quick to point out weather-related noise -following the cold snap last month – in the data, and reiterated the expected boost to spending from stimulus.

Broadcom (NASDAQ:), NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:), and Qorvo (NASDAQ:) led the rally in chip stocks.

“We expect an additional stimulus package passed in March to raise the savings rate again, adding to a powerful tailwind of buying power that has been building among US households – ready to be deployed as the economy is reopening,” Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) said.

The likely wave of consumer spending will boost inflation pressures, with the latest data showing the price consumer expenditure index, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, rose to 1.6% in February year-on-year from 1.4% the prior month.

“We continue to see core PCE inflation peaking in April and May this year closer to 2.6%,” Morgan Stanley added.

The remained in the positive, though that did little to curb investor appetite for the growth trade, with tech stocks getting a boost from a jump in chip stocks.

The communications services sector, however, slumped more more than 1% following slump in Discovery (NASDAQ:), ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:) and Fox Corp (NASDAQ:).

Fox Corp. fell 11% after Dominion Voting System filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News Network for accusing the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election.

In other news, Nio Class A ADR (NYSE:) fell 8% after halting production at one of its plants, citing impact from the global chip shortage.

The Chinese electric vehicle company cut its Q1 delivery target to about 19,500 vehicles, from a previous range of 20,000 to 20,500 vehicles.

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