U.S. stocks rise amid cautious global market trading

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FILE – American flags fly in front of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in New York’s Financial District. Stocks open lower on Wall Street on Thursday, March 23, giving back some of the big gains they made the day before. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

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Stocks rose on Wall Street on Thursday but remained mixed for the week as a streak of uneven trading continues in global markets.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.8% at 1:09 p.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 203 points, or 0.6%, to 34,562 and the Nasdaq rose 1.1%.

Technology and communications stocks posted some of the biggest gains. Many companies have outsized values ​​that tend to sway the market in both directions. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 8.6% and Facebook parent company Meta rose 2.8%.

Major US indices are mixed for the week so far after alternating between gains and losses over the past few days.

“There’s a bit of a tug of war going on right now…and investors are just looking for direction,” said Darrell Cronk, chief investment officer for wealth and investment management at Wells Fargo.

Markets in Europe have increased. Germany’s DAX rose 0.3%, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.2% and Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4%. Indices in Asia were mostly lower.

Crude oil prices slipped after surging a day earlier. U.S. benchmark crude oil fell 1.8% and Brent crude, the international standard, fell 1.3%. Overall, global oil prices have risen more than 50% in 2022 due to persistently rising inflation and concerns about tight supplies due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Investors around the world were watching to see the results of NATO meetings and a summit of European leaders on Thursday. G-7 countries are restricting the Russian Central Bank’s use of gold in transactions and the United States has announced new sanctions against Russian individuals and entities.

Dozens of nations, including the United States and much of Europe, say they are united in seeking to “drastically” cut Russian oil and gas imports.

So far, the sanctions have reduced the value of the ruble and caused the Russian stock exchange to close almost a month ago. The exchange reopened on Thursday under heavy restrictions to prevent the kind of sell-off that has occurred in anticipation of crippling financial and economic sanctions from Western countries.

Wall Street is watching the latest developments in the dispute as it tries to determine how much it could worsen inflation and potentially dampen global economic growth. Businesses and consumers have faced rising costs for materials and goods, prompting central banks to raise interest rates to lessen the impact of inflation.

Bond yields rose overall as the market braces for higher interest rates. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.34% from 2.31% on Wednesday night.

“Markets are clearly signaling a deceleration in GDP growth and earnings growth,” Cronk said.

Investors received an encouraging update on the continued recovery in the labor market. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week fell to its lowest level in 52 years. The upbeat report adds to data earlier this month that showed employers added 678,000 jobs in February, the highest monthly total since July.


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Felix J. Dixon