Wall Street closed out its best month since November 2020 as stocks racked up more gains on Friday, providing a welcome breather for investors after an unstable year for the market.
The latest rally came as investors weighed a mix of company earnings reports and new data showing inflation jumped by the most in four decades last month. The S&P 500 index, the benchmark for many stock funds, rose 1.4% and finished 9.1% higher for July. A rebound in technology stocks, big retailers, and other companies that rely on direct consumer spending helped power the index’s broad gains this month.
Expectations from investors that slowing inflation and slowing growth could push the Fed to ease plans to ratchet up interest rates boosted equities throughout the month. Although Fed Chair Jerome Powell continues to insist the country isn’t in a recession and could still stave one off, weak economic data have also spurred stocks higher by giving some investors confidence that the Federal Reserve will be able to dial back its aggressive pace of rate hikes sooner than expected.
July could be the best month for stocks since 2020. pic.twitter.com/5loEcOR2Zq
— Eddy Elfenbein (@EddyElfenbein) July 29, 2022
Stock gains in recent weeks have been fueled by better-than-expected corporate earnings reports and falling bond yields, which have pulled back after soaring much of this year on expectations of higher interest rates.
Jim Cramer has advised investors to seize the moment and buy some stocks, since he said the Federal Reserve appears to be nearing the end of its tightening cycle.
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) July 29, 2022
Exxon and Chevron posted record quarterly profits last quarter amid high oil and gas prices. The two companies made $46 billion last quarter and roughly four times the amount of money they made in the same period a year earlier. Chevron shares jumped 8.9% to a six-week high, while Exxon rose 4.6%. Amazon and Apple also reported surges by the end of the quarter.
S&P 500 is on track For it’s best month in July in over two years!! Lowest unemployment rates, highest wages, and yet the media and Republicans are desperate to tell us we are in a recession.
Apple & Amazon Both posting better results than economist expected.
— Diane Lees 🌻🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻 (@dtheavenger) July 29, 2022