By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The S&P 500 closed at another record Friday, as a late show of investor appetite for stocks rounded off a week in which a hotter inflation report was largely cast aside ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting next week.
The S&P 500 rose 0.19% to end the day at a closing high of 4,247. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.04%, or 13 points, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.35%.
Wall Street was sluggish after making a bright start to the session, though the marching feet of the bulls returned leading up to the closing bell.
Investors were keen on keeping their powder dry ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting ending Wednesday as bets on surprising from the central bank are few and far between. The backdrop of mixed economic data will help the central bank leaned into its view of an uneven recovery that still requires support.
The labor market isn't making the job gains many had expected, while inflation has surprised to the upside, though is widely assumed to be transitory.
"Since the last meeting, economic data have delivered more questions and answers. In light of the uncertainty, it's hard to imagine any changes in the Fed's messaging," Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) said in a report.
While Fed members have recently shown an appetite to begin the talk on tapering, Chairman Jerome Powell isn’t expected to give much away.
"Powell will no doubt be asked about any tapering discussions in light of the April FOMC minutes. We expect him to echo Clarida and Quarles and say that is might be appropriate to start talking about it in the next few meetings, but the Committee is not there yet," Jefferies added.
This backdrop of humdrum has been captured in recent market moves amid a lack of conviction from traders to make meaningful bets in either direction.
The bond market, however, has offered up noteworthy moves as the 10-year yield slipped below 1.5%, helping tech stocks continue their win streak, which is set to stretch to four weeks.
Tech stocks have been a big winner of the fall in rates, and added to recent gains on Friday. The emerging growth stocks including Peleton and Zoom — that were hit hard when rising rates scared investors out of stocks with frothy valuations — appear to have regained favor.
Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:PTON), Zoom Video (NASDAQ:ZM), DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) are set to end the week sharply higher.
Energy was flat, but was also in focus during the week as oil prices hit multi-year highs on bets that energy demand is set for second lease on life as the reopening of economies boosts international travel.
The so-called meme trade also gripped investor attention as Danish biopharma Orphazyme A/S (NASDAQ:ORPH) become the new meme star overnight, but it's fame proved short-lived, stumbling to a 56% loss after rising nearly 1,400%.
The "OG" meme stocks like GameStop (NYSE:GME) and AMC (NYSE:AMC) were up 6% and 15%, respectively.
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