U.S. stocks surged on Friday to cap off a first-quarter rally. This came after inflation data showed a cooling of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index; the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation.
At the time of Friday’s closing bell, the S&P 500 was up 1.4%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite had gained 1.2% and 1.6% respectively.
The Nasdaq surged over 16% for the quarter while the S&P 500 rose 7% as investors regained their confidence as markets rebounded following the banking crisis as well as continued interest rate hikes by the Fed.
For February, core PCE, which excludes more volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.3% from January as well as 4.6% on a year-over-year basis, thereby beating Wall Street estimates of 4.7%.
While data on consumers from the University of Michigan showed that consumers have been less confident regarding their economic prospects this month, it was determined that the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the banking instability that ensued did not have a profound effect on consumers’ outlooks.