U.S. stocks rose at the open on Friday while bond yields retreated slightly from their recent march.
The S&P 500 (^GSPC) edged up around 0.5%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 0.2%. Contracts on the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) were up around 0.8%.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note (^TNX) moved below, then back above the key 4% level Friday morning after services data showed the economic activity expanded in February. Crude oil traded weaker, with U.S. benchmark WTI (CL=F) down at $76.60 a barrel.
On the economic data side, economic activity in the services sector grew in February for the second consecutive month as the ISM Services PMI came in at 55.1, slightly lower from 55.2 recorded in January and above economists expectations of 54.5.
February’s ISM Services figures “suggests activity continues to expand at a reasonably healthy pace, but provides further reason to doubt the idea that there has been a resurgence in growth since the start of the year,” Andrew Hunter, Deputy Chief U.S. economist, wrote in a note following the release.
The moves came after stocks rallied on Thursday, with the S&P 500 trading lower for most of the session before rallying after commentary from Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic.
Bostic said he’s still open to raising rates by another quarter percentage point at the central bank’s March meeting. “I let the data guide me,” Bostic told reporters in a press briefing. “If the data continue to come in suggesting the economy is stronger than I had projected, I’ll adjust my policy trajectory.”
Bostic, who isn’t a voter on monetary policy this year, wrote an essay on Wednesday calling for the Fed to raise its policy rate by 50 basis points to a range of 5%-5.25% and then keep it there until well into 2024.
Fed officials raised the benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point in February, pulling the target to stand in a range of 4.5%-4.75%. Policymakers will be releasing new projections after the central bank’s March 21-22 meeting.
In single stock moves, C3.ai (AI) shares surged 16% Friday morning after the company posted fiscal third quarter revenue that came at $66.7 million, beating analyst expectations of $64.2 million.
Costco (COST) shares 3% sank after the bulk retailer posted mixed results for the second quarter. Total revenue for its latest quarter was $55.27 billion, slightly below analysts expectations of $55.58 billion. During earnings call, the company provided some hopeful news on the inflation front.
ChargePoint (CHPT) shares edged higher Friday morning after the maker of EV charging stations reported disappointing results and issued softer guidance.
Shares of Amazon are up nearly 3% as the company pauses construction on its second quarters in Arlington, Virginia. The move follows the tech giant has announced job cuts in the wake of slowing consumer and corporate spending.
In the cryptocurrency market, both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) fell as customers pull their funds from crypto bank Silvergate (SI), whose stock plunged more than 57% during the trading session on Thursday. Following the drop in Bitcoin, the pullback is close to 10% and the digital asset is on pace to close below its 50-day moving average for the first time in almost two months, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group.
Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @daniromerotv
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