The New York Stock Exchange ended the week on a positive note on Friday as investors warmly welcomed the results of the banking giant JPMorgan Chase, a new Disney initiative and the announcement of a mega-merger in the oil sector.
Wall Street’s flagship index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, gained 1.03 percent to 26,412.30 points, and the technology-rich Nasdaq rose 0.46 percent to 7,984.16 points.
The broad S&P 500 index (+0.66% at 2,907.41 points), for its part, finished above the threshold of 2,900 points for the first time since October. The three indices sign their third consecutive week of increase, which brought them not far from their historical records last year. Thus, the DJIA and the Nasdaq are now only about 1.6% of their peaks, and the indexThe S & P 500 is now only 0.8% of its historical high of 2,930 points, recorded on September 20, 2018.
Over the week, especially marked by the wait-and-see attitude of investors as the earnings season approaches, and against the American and European central banks advocating patience, the Dow Jones yielded 0.05% while the Nasdaq appreciated by 0.6% and the S & P 500 by 0.5%.
China has somewhat relieved the markets by announcing Friday a sharp rebound in exports in March (+14.2% year on year and +3% over one month), enough to restore confidence in global demand. The Chinese central bank also announced a surge in bank lending in March, showing that the authorities’ efforts to ease credit and stimulate activity are paying off.
These figures suggest that the worst could have passed for the Chinese economy, at least if the long-awaited trade deal with the United States occurs in the coming weeks.
In the United States, the statistics of the day did not bring any significant surprises. Import prices rose for the third month in a row in March, boosted by rising fuel prices, but the underlying trend remains weak. Import prices rose by 0.6% over one month, against +0.4% expected by the consensus, but they are stable over one year.
In addition, excluding fuels, import prices rose by only 0.2% in March over a month, as in February, and fell by 0.3% year-on-year. Export prices rose 0.7% in March over one month, following a 0.6% increase in February and 0.6% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index stood at 96.9 points in a preliminary estimate in April, while economists were expecting an average of 98 points.