Stocks closed slightly higher on Friday afternoon as investors digested a final slate of corporate earnings and fresh economic data to close out the week.
All three major averages closed the week lower. The Dow had its worst week in six weeks, snapping a 4-week win streak.
The S&P Global’s flash reading on the U.S. Manufacturing Price Index came in hotter than economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected on Friday. Services PMI hit a 12-month high at 53.7, while . Manufacturing PMI hit a six-month high of 50.4. Economists had estimated Services PMI at 51.5 and Manufacturing PMI at 49, per Bloomberg consensus data.
The report challenges the narrative that storm clouds are brewing in the US economy.
“Output rose at the sharpest pace for almost a year, as stronger demand conditions, improving supply and a steeper uptick in new orders supported the expansion,” S&P Global wrote in the release. “Solid growth in activity was seen across both the manufacturing and service sectors.”
The earnings onslaught slowed slightly on Friday morning, with consumer staples giant Procter & Gamble (PG) reporting. Shares of Procter & Gamble rose 3.45% as the company raised its forecast for 2023 organic sales growth to 6%, up from a prior guidance of 4% to 5%.
P&G chairman and CEO Jon Moeller told Yahoo Finance his company isn’t seeing any signs of a recession based on consumer habits.
“We’re seeing if anything, more careful usage of the product that they have bought,” Moeller said. “So they might use a half a sheet of Bounty paper towel as opposed to a whole sheet.”
Elsewhere in earnings, mining company Freeport-McMoran (FCX) fell 4.10%, its worst intraday performance in over a month, as copper production declined for the quarter. Shares of SAP (SAP) popped nearly 6% as the company topped estimates for revenue and earnings per share while teasing out ChatGPT integration.
“We’re getting a lot of mixed indications form the various companies reporting, even ones within the same industry,” Thomas Martin, GLOBALT Investments Senior Portfolio Manager told Yahoo Finance Live. “I’m afraid we’ll have to wait for another quarter or two before we really get definitive information one way or the other.”
Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester told Yahoo Finance on Thursday that interest rates need to rise above 5% given stubborn inflation. The comments came two days before Federal Reserve participants enter their blackout period prior to the next FOMC meeting on May 2.
Markets are currently pricing in an 84% chance of 25-basis-point rate hike at the next FOMC meeting, according to data from the CME group.
With the Fed in its quiet period, market focus will turn to big tech earnings next week. Apple (AAPL) Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Meta (META) are all set to report first quarter results. On the economic front, the first look how the health of the U.S. economy in 2023 is expected, with the initial first quarter GDP report expected on Thursday.
Through Friday, 18% of S&P 500 companies have reported first quarter results, with aggregate earnings of 5.8% coming in below the five (8.4%) and ten-year (6.4%) averages, according to Factset.
Josh is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Click here for the latest stock market news and in-depth analysis, including events that move stocks