Investor Optimism Improves Slightly; Dow Jumps Over 250 Points

The CNN Money Fear and Greed index showed a slight increase in the overall market sentiment on Thursday.

U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, extending gains recorded in the previous session. The Fed kept interest rates unchanged Wednesday between 5.25% and 5.5% at its March meeting, as widely expected by investors, confirming intentions to lower the cost of money in the coming months.

Shares of Accenture Plc ACN dipped over 9% on Thursday after the company reported results for its fiscal second quarter. Micron Technology, Inc. MU shares surged over 14% after the company reported upbeat results for its second quarter and issued strong third-quarter guidance.

On the economic data front, U.S. initial jobless claims declined by 2,000 to 210,000 on the week ending March 16, versus market estimates of 215,000. The U.S. current account deficit shrank by $1.6 billion to $194.8 billion during the fourth quarter, compared to market estimates for a $209 billion gap. The S&P Global services PMI declined to a three-month low level of 51.7 in March from 52.3 in the previous month, while manufacturing PMI climbed to a 21-month high level of 52.5 in March.

Most sectors on the S&P 500 closed on a positive note, with industrials, financial and energy stocks recording the biggest gains on Thursday. However, utilities and communication services bucked the overall market trend, closing the session lower.

The Dow Jones closed higher by around 269 points to 39,781.37 on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 0.32% at 5,241.53, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.20% at 16,401.84 during Thursday’s session.

Investors are awaiting earnings results from Hyzon Motors Inc. HYZN, AstroNova, Inc. ALOT and Humacyte, Inc. HUMA today.

The CNN Money Fear and Greed index rose slightly to 74.8 on Thursday, versus a prior reading of 74.6.

What is CNN Business Fear & Greed Index?

The Fear & Greed Index is a measure of the current market sentiment. It is based on the premise that higher fear exerts pressure on stock prices, while higher greed has the opposite effect. The index is calculated based on seven equal-weighted indicators. The index ranges from 0 to 100, where 0 represents maximum fear and 100 signals maximum greediness.


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