By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com -- The S&P 500 advanced on Friday, to remain on course for its best week since June, powered by rallying energy and tech stocks amid bets for a less hawkish Federal Reserve following recent data showing easing inflation.
Energy stocks rose more than 3%, buoyed by rising oil prices as China eased some of its Covid-19 restrictions, stoking hopes for a jump in demand.
Technology continued to rack up gains for a second-straight day as optimism that inflation has peaked encouraged further bets on a less hawkish Fed rate hikes.
But some continued to caution against going all-in on tech, and highlight the need to take a selective approach prioritizing companies that have solid fundamentals and are able to pass on higher costs to consumers.
“Companies that are growing their cash flows and have not been hurt as bad from inflation are going to perform better than those that were the darlings of the 2021 period that just went straight up,” Wealth Consulting Group Chief Investment Officer Jim Worden told Investing.com's Yasin Ebrahim in an interview on Friday.
Consumer stocks were also in the ascendancy with casino and travel stocks catching a bid on news of easing Covid-19 restrictions in China, while retail stocks were led higher by Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL ) rose more than 8% after the designer apparel maker reported better-than-expected fiscal second quarter results , driven by "solid" performance in North America, Wedbush said after lifting its price target to $100 from $95, citing "greater confidence around management’s execution during tough times."
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) also played a big role in pushing consumer stocks amid reports that the e-commerce giant is mulling cost-cutting measures that could include culling unprofitable divisions.
Health care, however, kept the broader market from rising further, as investors appeared to move out of defensive corners of the market. Cigna (NYSE: CI ), Humana Inc (NYSE: HUM ), and Elevance Health Inc (NYSE: ELV ) were the worst performers, with the latter down more than 6%.
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