U.S. stocks bounce back after sharp drop on economic concerns

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U.S. stocks rebounded Friday morning after tumbling the prior day on fears that economic activity would be curtailed by interest rate hikes to cool inflation.

After turning tail on Thursday, benchmark indexes rose in early morning trading. As of 9:47 EST on Friday, the Dow rose 94 points, or 0.3%, to stand at 30,021. The S&P 500 climbed 22 points, or 59%, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 117 points, or 1%.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 index lost 3.3% on Thursday and other major benchmarks also sank after Britain’s central bank followed the Federal Reserve in raising its key rate. Central banks in Switzerland and Taiwan also raised rates.

Investors worry the moves to control inflation that is running at four-decade highs might tip the U.S. and other major economies into recession.

“Pain is being inflicted almost everywhere and sharing doesn’t make it better in any way,” said Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank in a report.

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On Thursday, the Dow lost 2.4% and the Nasdaq dropped 4.1%.

At 23.6% below its January 3 record, the S&P remains in bear-market territory. The more than 20% decrease erases gains from 2021, one of Wall Street’s best years this century.

Along with raising borrowing costs, some of the trillions of dollars of bonds bought by the Fed to inject money into the U.S. financial system during the pandemic are being allowed to roll off its balance sheet. That should put upward pressure on market interest rates.

Fewer American workers filed for unemployment benefits last week than a week before. 

President Joe Biden told The Associated Press on Thursday he saw reasons for optimism.

A recession is “not inevitable,” Biden said.

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