Stocks largely rose on Friday as investors follow the developments in the U.S. government’s debt ceiling talks and a positive Walmart earnings report instills confidence in consumer spending.
The S&P 500 rose by 0.94%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 115 points or 0.34%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged by 1.51%.
While U.S. President Joe Biden revealed no concrete debt ceiling plan before departing for his trip to Asia on Wednesday, however, investor confidence has grown amid reports of progress in negotiations. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy stated that Wednesday’s discussion “set the the stage to carry on further conversations.”
“We are starting to see enough common themes in their views to feel confident that a deal is going to be announced in relatively short order,” Jefferies US Economist Thomas Simmons commented, adding that a deal needs to be reached before the June 1 deadline so as to avoid an unprecedented default on government loans.
Investor confidence was also boosted by Walmart’s first-quarter earnings, with the retail giant reporting a higher same-store sales growth that outpaced Wall Street estimates. Walmart consequently boosted its full-year adjusted earnings per share forecast from a range of $5.90-$6.05 to a range of $6.10-$6.20.