Stock market today: Dow Rose, Alibaba soared, Okta sank

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Fed Chairman Powell spooked markets on Monday.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Stocks surged on Tuesday, brushing aside hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and a continued rise in bond yields.

the


Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 254 points, or 0.7%, while the


S&P500

jumped 1.1% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 2%.

The Nasdaq has been particularly volatile this year, with Tuesday marking its 39th daily move of 1% or more this quarter. This is the highest number of such moves in a quarter since the first quarter of 2009.

However, stocks were not the only ones to rise. The 2-year Treasury yield gained 0.05 percentage points to 2.17%, a new pandemic-era closing high, while the 10-year Treasury yield rose 0.09 percentage points at 2.38%, also a new pandemic-era closing high. The records come a day after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would consider raising rates in half-percentage-point increments, rather than the standard quarter-percentage point. This decision is a sign that the Fed is serious about controlling inflation.

Rising bond rates and yields should be bad news for the stock market, but investors seem to be taking the rises head-on. “Equity traders eye a surge in global bond yields and say: [‘What, me worry?’]” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “The sell-off in the global bond market is not easing at all and that should set off some red flags.”

This continues a rebound from a recent low as investors continue to buy battered stocks. Since the S&P 500 fell deep into correction territory — defined as a decline of 10% or more from a high — the index is up just over 8% from its 2022 low on the 8th. March. Investors raised a lot of money they were eager to put to work as stock prices fell.

The rally in equities still has some meaning, however. Economic growth is still expected to be strong, as U.S. real gross domestic product growth is still expected to be 3.6% this year and 2.3% in 2023, according to FactSet. “Stocks held up in part because soaring 10-year yields are consistent with a strong economy and recession risk remains low over the 12 months,” wrote Dennis DeBusschere, founder of 22VResearch.

Of course, what is scary is that the financial markets are saying that there is a higher probability that these estimates will drop soon.

The surge in tech stocks on Tuesday also makes sense. While higher long-term bond yields make future earnings less valuable⁠⁠⁠ – and many fast-growing tech companies are valued on the basis that they will produce strong earnings numbers many years from now future – the sector may already reflect a lot of this notion. When the Nasdaq went public on March 15, the index was in a bear market, at least 20% below its all-time high. “Growth [stocks] was beaten so badly even with the rate hike,” said Tyler Richey of Sevens Report Research. “So there is a little catch-up factor.”

For the S&P 500, the next tests will come at 4,500, which it is now trying to break, and then approaching the 4,600 level. clue again.

But even if the current rally stops, it may not mean the end of the world. “The next resistance levels that can be tested are in the 4500 and 4600 areas,” writes Zev Spiro or Orips Research. “In the very near term, a minor consolidation or pullback would be healthy ahead of higher levels.”

And while it’s possible the stock market may have bottomed – and moved from there – don’t expect a straight line up from here. “There are considerable concerns about economic growth,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group.

Here are a handful of stocks in motion on Tuesday:


Ali Baba

(ticker: BABA) rose 11% in the United States and its Hong Kong stock gained more than 11% after the Chinese e-commerce giant announced it would increase the size of its share buyback program at $25 billion versus $15 billion.


Okta

(OKTA) fell 1.8%, erasing larger losses, following news of a digital breach at the authentication service provider. Okta said it was investigating the breach, and CEO Todd McKinnon said via Twitter that there was no evidence of ongoing malicious activity.


Nike

(NKE) jumped 2.2% after the sporting goods giant reported better-than-expected quarterly profit late Monday, as high product prices offset headwinds from lower sales in China. The news also boosted the competitor’s shares


Adidas

(ADS.Germany), which rose 1.5% in Frankfurt trading.


Altria Group

(MO) gained 2.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Neutral at


Goldman Sachs
.

The bank downgraded its competitor


Philip Morris International

(PM) to Neutral Buy. The stock fell 0.5%.

Write to Jack Denton at jack.denton@dowjones.com

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