Wall Street closes higher, happy with Fed-Ukraine talks

New York Mayor Eric Adams at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/SPENCER PLATT)

The New York Stock Exchange recovered on Wednesday, helped by the moderate tone of the president of the US Central Bank (Fed) and the announcement of the resumption of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations.

The Dow Jones rose 1.79% to 33,891.35, the technology-influenced Nasdaq rose 1.62% to 13,752.01 and the broader S&P 500 added 1.86% to 4,386.54.

According to Jack Ablin, head of investment strategy at Cresset Capital, investors were sensitive to the cautious tone of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaking before the House Financial Services Committee.

Although he announced a quarter-point increase in the institution’s key rate at the end of the meeting on March 15 and 16, the official made a measured message that suggests a very gradual tightening of monetary policy.

“We will proceed with caution,” he said during the hearing. “We will avoid adding uncertainty to what is already an extremely difficult and uncertain time.”

Investors also welcomed the announcement of a new round of talks between Ukrainian and Russian emissaries on Thursday, which should include a possible ceasefire.

“There is a sense of progress between Russia and Ukraine,” commented Jack Eblin, even as fighting continued, particularly in Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, on the seventh day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The analyst mentioned, to illustrate the impression of investors, that the fall in the value of the defense sector and weapons, such as Lockheed Martin (-1.45%) or Raytheon (-1.94%), spurred these recent sessions on the Russian attack. in Ukraine.

The easing was also egregious in the bond market. Thus, the 10-year US government bond rate rose from 1.69% initially to 1.90%, which is an unusual jump in a market where fluctuations are often measured in hundredths of a percentage point (0.01 points).

The fact that stock markets have risen despite a new bout of oil fever “may be explained by the belief that oil prices have peaked,” Briefing.com analysts said.

ExxonMobil was in demand (+1.72% to $80.53) despite the announcement of its withdrawal from its last major project in Russia, thus the American imitated its competitors BP, Shell or Eni.

In general, the increase in oil prices contributed to the growth of companies in the sector, from Chevron (+2.95%) to Halliburton (+2.55%), through Marathon Petroleum (+2.64%).

Another sign of Wednesday’s good session on Wall Street, again according to Briefing.com, is a technical rebound after a much too noticeable drop in recent days.

After a significant drop since the invasion of Ukraine, the two largest global capitalizations, Apple (+2.06%) and Microsoft (+1.78%), have regained their color.

For Ford, it benefited (+8.38% to $18.10) from the announcement of its electric vehicle (Ford Model e) business, separate from its traditional business, now under the Ford Blue brand.

The historic American producer also valued the investment it intends to make in electricity at $50 billion.

Young shooters of the sector such as Rivian (-13.49%), Nikola (-1.44%) or Lucid (-1.64%) reacted badly to this message, which, on the other hand, did not touch Tesla shareholders ( + 1.80%).

Department store chain Nordstrom had a session in orbit (up 37.82% to $26.93) after posting better-than-expected results and positive guidance for the current fiscal year.