NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are off to another mixed start on Wall Street as more gains for Big Tech companies offset weakness elsewhere in the market. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% in the early going Friday, on track for its fourth weekly gain in a row. A day earlier the bechmark index closed 20% above its October low, entering a new bull market. The Nasdaq composite added 0.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was just barely higher with a gain of less than 0.1%. Chipmaker Nvidia rose another 2%. European markets were lower and Asian markets closed higher overnight.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
TOKYO (AP) — European shares declined Friday after a day of gains in Asia following Wall Street’s return to bull market status.
France's CAC 40 lost 0.4% to 7,198.50 while Germany's DAX slipped 0.3% to 16,886.40. Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.4% to 7,572.16. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.2% and the contract for the S&P 500 future was down 0.1%.
Asian benchmarks rose Friday, tracking Wall Street's gains. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 2.0% to finish at 32,265.17. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3% to 7,122.50. South Korea's Kospi added 1.2% to 2,641.16. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.5% to 19,389.95. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.6% to 3,231.41.
Still, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said worries persist over the weakness of China's recovery from pandemic restrictions
"China’s post-reopening recovery has slowed incredibly in the second quarter," Innes said in a commentary. “Now people are wondering if we are near rock bottom or not.”
On Thursday, the S&P 500 gained 0.6%. The Dow gained 0.5% and the Nasdaq rose 1%.
With the S&P 500 rising 20% above the bottom it hit in October, Wall Street’s main measure of health has climbed out of a painful bear market, which saw it drop 25.4% over roughly nine months.
The arrival of a bull market also doesn’t mean the stock market has made it back to its prior heights. A 25% drop for the S&P 500 requires a 33% rally just to get back to even.
Declaring the end of a bear market may seem arbitrary, and different market watchers use different definitions, but it offers a useful marker for investors. It also provides a reminder that investors who can hold on through downturns nearly always eventually have made back all their losses in S&P 500 index funds.
Even though it was driven by so many extremes — the worst inflation in generations and the fastest hikes to interest rates in decades, for example— this most recent bear market lasted only about nine months. It stretched from Jan. 3, 2022, when the S&P 500 set a record, until Oct. 12, when it hit bottom. That’s shorter than the typical bear market, and it also resulted in a shallower loss than average, according to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The economy has avoided a recession so far because of a remarkably solid job market and spending by consumers. Hopes also are rising that the Fed may soon stop hiking interest rates.
The broad expectation among traders is that the Fed will hold rates steady next week, which would mark the first meeting where it hasn’t raised rates in more than a year. While it may hike rates one more time in July, the hope on Wall Street is that it won’t go beyond that. Inflation has been coming down from its peak last summer.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 2 cents to $71.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It shed $1.24 to $$71.29 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, picked up 4 cents to $76.00 a barrel.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 139.62 Japanese yen from 138.90 yen. The euro fell to $1.0760 from $1.0783.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press