S&P 500 Extends Climb as Energy Resumes Rally on Prolonged War Bets

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S&P 500 Extends Climb as Energy Resumes Rally on Prolonged War Bets

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com -- The S&P 500 rallied Thursday, led by energy as investors mulled the Federal Reserve’s plan to hike rates several times this year, and the reports suggesting that a solution to ending the Ukraine-Russia war is still some ways off.

The S&P 500 rose 1.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.2%, or 416 points, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.3%.

Energy stocks rallied sharply, up more than 3%, as oil prices clawed back some recent losses to trade above $100 a barrel after Russia downplayed progress on peace talks with Ukraine.

The Kremlin reportedly said that news pointing to progress in Ukraine-Russia peace talks was “wrong,” prompting investors to resume bets for a prolonged war that could disrupt energy supplies and keep oil prices rising.

Adding to expectations for a shortfall in supply, the International Energy Agency said three million barrels per day of Russian oil and products could be shut in from April.

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY ), Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN ), and APA (NASDAQ: APA ) were up more than 9%, 9% and 7% respectively.

Occidental Petroleum was also boosted by news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRKa ) purchased 18.1 million more shares of Occidental.

Consumer discretionary was also involved in the heavy lifting of the broader market, pushed higher by in Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY ), Garmin (NYSE: GRMN ) and Dollar General (NYSE: DG ).

Dollar General jumped more than 4% as the company hiked its quarterly dividend by 31% after reporting fourth-quarter results that missed on both the top and bottom lines.

Pagerduty Inc (NYSE: PD ) rallied more than 20% after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results, as new product launches helped bolster results.

Bank stocks, meanwhile, which delivered swashbuckling gains on Wednesday, failed to keep up momentum as the further flattening in the yield curve - when short term rates increase faster than longer term rates – added to worries about the Federal Reserve causing a recession by slowing the economy down too much.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB ), Regions Financial (NYSE: RF ), Truist Financial (NYSE: TFC ) were down more than 1%.

“We would expect some type of inversion of the yield curve, which is definitely going to get the recession word thrown around much more given that it's going to skew growth to the downside," David Wagner, portfolio manager at Aptus Capital Advisors told Investing.com in an interview on Thursday.

Tech, meanwhile, was the relative underperformer on the day as big tech traded mostly positive, led by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ), but weakness in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ: AMD ) weighed.

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