Stocks Fall As Chipmakers Retreat From Highs, Bitcoin Pulls Back After $70,000, Gold Rises To $2,200: What's Driving Markets Friday?

Zinger Key Points
  • S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 struggle to avoid closing the week in the red, small caps outperform.
  • February jobs report delivers mixed results: nonfarm payrolls rise, but unemployment rate increases.

The stock market is navigating a mixed closing session this week, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 struggling to stave off a weekly downturn.

Initially, optimism was fueled by traders interpreting the February jobs report’s mixed signals as solidifying expectations for June rate cuts.

The report revealed that nonfarm payrolls increased by 275,000 in February, surpassing the anticipated rise of 200,000, while the January figure was downwardly revised to 229,000. The unemployment rate surprisingly rose from 3.7% in January to 3.9% in February.

Investor attention swiftly shifted to profit-taking in the semiconductor sector, as disappointing guidance from Marvell Technology Inc. MRVL and Broadcom Inc. AVGO led to declines of 9.3% and over 6%, respectively.

The chipmaker benchmark, the iShares Semiconductor ETF SOXX, tumbled 2.4%, on course for its worst session since late January, while Nvidia Corp. NVDA plummeted 3.6%.

Notably, small caps outperformed large caps, with the iShares Russell 2000 ETF IWM, reaching the highest levels since early April 2022.

Treasury yields and the U.S. dollar rebounded from their initial losses post-jobs report.

Bitcoin BTC/USD briefly reached a record high of $70,199 before retracing to $68,500 by midday.

Gold, tracked by the SPDR Gold Trust GLD, nears $2,200/oz, marking fresh record highs and poised for its eighth consecutive session of gains, its longest streak since July 2020.

Friday’s Performance In Major US Indices, ETFs

Major Indices & ETFsPrice1-day %chg
Russell 20002,098.660.3%
Dow Jones38,879.200.2%
S&P 5005,151.37-0.1%
Nasdaq 10018,154.76-0.8%

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY eased 0.1% to $514.45, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average DIA inched 0.3% lower to $389.62 and the tech-heavy Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ fell 0.7% to $442.28, according to Benzinga Pro data


Sector-wise, the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR Fund XLRE, was the top performer, up by 1.2%, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund XLK trailed, down by 0.7%. 

Friday’s Stock Movers

  • Stocks moving on earnings were DocuSign, Inc. DOCU (up over 5%), Costco Wholesale Corporation COST (down over 7%), Gap, Inc. GPS (up over 3%), Samsara Inc. IOT (up over 13%), Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. SWBI (up about 28%) and MongoDB, Inc. MDB (down over 6%).
  • Coinbase Global Inc. COIN rose over 6% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock from Sell to Neutral.
  • Carnival Corp. CCL rose over 4%, after the cruise lines received a price target boost from Stifel. Peers Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. NCLH both rose by about 2%.
  • Biotech company Amylyx Pharmaceuticals Inc AMLX fell over 80% after announcing topline results from the PHOENIX Phase 3 trial of AMX0035, which did not lead to a statistical significant difference in treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Read now: Semiconductor Mania Surges Past Dot-Com Bubble’s Peak: ‘Abnormal Times,’ Top Wall Street Analyst Says

Photo via Shutterstock.

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