S&P 500 rallies into 4,440s, up 1.0% despite hot PPI and mixed start to the Q1 earnings season

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  • US equities advanced on Wednesday despite hotter than expected PPI and a mixed start to the Q1 earnings season.
  • A continued pullback in US yields is giving big tech/growth stocks a lift.
  • The S&P 500 was last up more than 1.0% and trading in the 4,440s, well within this week’s ranges.

Major US equity indices were undeterred by a larger than expected rise in MoM and YoY Producer Price Inflation in March, according to data released on Wednesday, and advanced across the board, with large-cap tech/growth stocks leading the charge amid a continued pullback in US yields. The S&P 500 was last up slightly more than 1.0% in the 4,440s and trading back to the north of its 50-Day Moving Average at 4,422, though still within this week’s 4,375-4,470ish ranges.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index was up around 1.8% and trading just below 14,200, with the bulls eyeing a test of its 50DMA at 14,300. The Dow, meanwhile, was up around 0.9% and trading back to the north of the 34,500 level. Wednesday marked the unofficial start of the Q1 2022 earnings season, which got off to a mixed start.

JP Morgan shares slumped after the bank reported a slide in Q1 profits, while Delta Airlines jumped after posting a smaller than expected Q1 loss and a forecast for a return to profit in Q2. Investors seemingly took a glass-half-full attitude to the first day of major earnings releases, with some analysts talking about how Delta’s earnings release highlighted the potential for post-pandemic “reopening” trade to come back into the swing.

But focus returns to the big US banks for the rest of this week, with the likes of Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America all reporting in the coming days. According to Refinitiv data cited by Reuters, analysts expect earnings to rise by roughly 6% YoY in Q1 versus a 32.1% YoY jump in Q4 2021, with Reuters analysts citing the hawkish Fed, rampant inflation and geopolitical uncertainties due to the Russo-Ukraine war as muddying the outlook.