Stocks stage sharp rebound, but still on track for worst week since March

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U.S. stock rallied early Friday, with equities rising broadly in a partial rebound from a multiday rout that slashed about 1,400 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average and left the Nasdaq on the precipice of correction.

How are the benchmarks performing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average














DJIA, +1.18%












surged 362 points, or 1.4%, to 25,418. The blue-chip average was on track for its biggest percentage gain since Aug. 16.

The S&P 500














SPX, +1.47%












jumped 41 points to 2,769, a gain of 1.5%. The benchmark index was poised for its biggest gain since April, and it was set to snap a six-day losing streak, its longest such stretch of losses since a nine-day drop that ended in November 2016. With the advance, it pushed back above its 200-day moving average, a day after it closed below that level for the first time since April.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors rose in early trading.

The Nasdaq Composite Index














COMP, +2.22%












climbed 153 points, or 2.1%, to 7,483. At current levels, it was set for its biggest gain since March.

For the week, the Dow is down 4.1%, the S&P has lost 4.1% and the Nasdaq is down 4%. All three are on track for their biggest weekly decline since March. Both the Dow and the S&P are on track for their third straight weekly loss, while the Nasdaq has dropped for two.

Read: Here’s how much damage has been done to the stock market during a powerful rout

What’s driving the market?

While investors will be closely monitoring bond yields, a primary catalyst for the recent decline, Friday also marks the unofficial start to the third-quarter earnings season. JPMorgan Chase & Co.














JPM, +0.00%












 Citigroup Inc.














C, +1.07%












 and Wells Fargo & Co.














WFC, -0.35%












 all reported, providing the first clues into how American corporations are faring.

Third-quarter earnings will be a major driving as companies report over the coming weeks. According to FactSet, analysts are looking for earnings growth of about 19% and sales growth of 7%. While such growth points to an improving economy, there are also concerns that expectations have gotten too optimistic, or that the quarter could represent peak earnings, as much of the earnings growth can be credited to the tax bill passed late in 2017.

This week’s potent market selloff has been sparked by a sudden rise in long-dated interest rates since late September, particularly in long-dated 10-year Treasury note














TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.40%












which rose to a seven-year high above 3.26%.

However, the downdraft has accelerated amid a wave of concerns about stock-market valuations in an environment where the Federal Reserve is steadily lifting interest rates to normalize policy from crisis-era levels.

Higher yields raise borrowing costs for corporations. They also divert investment away from stocks. Market turmoil, however, appeared to spark haven demand for U.S. bonds, with the yield on the 10-year note down more than 6 basis points to 3.158%.

In the latest economic data, U.S. import prices rose 0.5% in September. Separately, a reading on October consumer sentiment will be released at 10 a.m. ET.

What are analysts saying?

“What investors need to get their heads around is that even though the U.S. economy is ticking along and the prospect of interest rate hikes has only dawned on them in the last few weeks, higher interest rates aren’t the end of the world,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets. “Higher interest rates are warranted when the economy is strong.”

What stocks are in focus?

Financial stocks will likely be among the most active, given the earnings reports. Investors will also be looking for any commentary on how firms expect to fare in a rising-rate environment.

JPMorgan reported third-quarter earnings and sales that beat expectations. The stock rose 0.8%.

Citigroup’s third-quarter earnings came in ahead of forecasts, but sales that missed expectations. The stock rose 3.2%. Wells Fargo reported adjusted earnings that missed expectations but revenue that topped forecasts. Shares gained 1.1%.

The sector overall rose 1.9%, though it has struggled throughout 2018, falling 3.7% year-to-date, compared with the 3.5% rise of the S&P 500.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc.














PNC, -4.98%












 reported adjusted earnings that topped analyst forecasts, and revenue that grew more than expected. Shares sank 3.8%.

Technology stocks will also remain in focus, as the sector was among the most hit in the week’s slump. Apple Inc.














AAPL, +3.27%












 rose 2.6% while Google-parent Alphabet Inc.














GOOGL, +2.26%













GOOG, +2.56%












 added 2.3%. Microsoft Corp.














MSFT, +2.79%












 rose 1.8%.

Perhaps the week’s biggest drag has been Amazon.com Inc.














AMZN, +4.26%












which lost 5.7% this week tumbled into correction territory. The e-commerce giant surged 3.6% on Friday.

Wedbush Securities upgraded Fitbit Inc.














FIT, +5.89%












 to outperform. Shares rose 7.8%.

Where are other markets trading?

Shares in Asia closed higher in a rebound from recent weakness, although they still posted sharp weekly losses. Major European indexes were also higher on Friday.

Crude-oil prices rose 0.8% while gold was down 0.2%. The U.S. dollar index rose 0.3%.

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2018-10-12 13:55:00

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