1 of 3 | The S&P 500 entered bull market territory as it surpassed 4,300 on Friday, 20% above October 2022 levels. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
June 9 (UPI) -- The S&P 500 was trading just above 4,300 during mid-day trading on Friday, moving above October 2022 levels by 20% and triggering a bull market.
The standard definition of a bull market is when stock prices rise by 20% above certain lows. The S&P closed trading Thursday above 4,300, formally entering bull territory.
The same can't be said in commodities. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was trading near $76 per barrel on Friday, a good 37% below peaks from last June. Commodity markets are largely reacting to negative news, such as the recent slip into recession for the European economy.
For the stock market, Ed Moya, an analyst at New York brokerage OANDA, said Friday that it was "a tough grind to bull-market territory."
For the U.S. economy, inflationary trends after a long slog are easing from year-on-year highs close to 10% last year, giving investors some confidence that the world's leading economy will avoid a recession this year.
Among the biggest movers on the S&P was Tesla, whose share price is up 29% over the last six months.
"For now, Tesla share prices can't stop rallying despite hitting some extreme overbought levels," Moya said. "It is good to be the EV king, and right now it doesn't seem anyone is close to making a run at them."
The rally followed word that Tesla would share its charging networks with General Motors.
Netflix too saw shares pop in Friday trading after the streaming service saw subscriptions jump amid its efforts to end to password-sharing.
The market response suggests traders have moved past concerns over the health of the financial sector that emerged in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the merger of struggling Credit Suisse and Swiss investment bank UBS.
By late March, only a couple of weeks after the collapse of SVB, St. Louis Fed Chief James Bullard said it appeared that fears of a major banking crisis were exaggerated.
Markets elsewhere were not as bullish as the S&P 500. The Dow is up about 10% from year-ago levels, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite may be flirting with a formal bear market relative to June 2022 levels.
But bubbles burst. Market watchers are awaiting next week's rate decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Recent weakness in the labor market may give the Fed reason to pause given the slump in hiring is an indication the economy is reacting to successive rate hikes.
Should the Fed surprise with another increase in lending rates, it would create headwinds in broader markets given the additional pressure on consumer lending.