scorecardUS stocks mixed but end with weekly gains as investors assess Fed plans and Ukraine-Russia developments
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US stocks mixed but end with weekly gains as investors assess Fed plans and Ukraine-Russia developments

Carla Mozée   

US stocks mixed but end with weekly gains as investors assess Fed plans and Ukraine-Russia developments
Stock Market2 min read
  • US stocks ended mixed after choppy trade Friday as investors wrapped up the last full of week of March.
  • Crude prices turned higher after Saudi oil facilities were damaged in a missile attack.

US stocks ended mixed Friday as investors considered the possibility of bigger-than-anticipated rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, but the S&P 500 was able to pull out its second consecutive weekly win.

The Nasdaq Composite reversed course and slumped during the day, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average wavered before finishing higher. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose for the week, building on last week's gains that marked their strongest performances since November 2020.

Investors rounded off the last full week of trading in March amid speculation the Fed will grow more hawkish. Citigroup now projects the Fed will raise interest rates at its next four meetings, potentially by 50 basis points, at each meeting. That would leave the Fed's benchmark lending rate at a range of 3.5% to 3.75% in 2023.

Here's where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Friday:

"[With] the Fed now openly talking about 50-basis-point hikes it is sensible to ask whether valuations can keep rising even as the prospect of weaker growth looms ever larger," Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, wrote in a Friday note.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, Russia signaled its military will focus more on pro-Moscow breakaway regions in the east, raising the possibility that its war aims have been scaled back.

Cheap Russian oil is heading to China and India amid sweeping sanctions. Meanwhile, Russia says it may accept bitcoin for its oil and gas exports from "friendly" countries like China and Turkey.

Russian stocks dropped 4% on the second day of partially re-opened trade in Moscow, with restrictions unable to hold back selling.

Oil prices reversed higher after Saudi oil facilities were damaged in a missile attack. West Texas Intermediate crude picked up 1.4% to settle at $113.90 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rallied 0.55% to $119.68.

Gold prices fell 0.5% to $1,952.80 per ounce.

Bond yields jumped as investors started pricing in expectations for the Fed to up its aggressive stance toward cooling hot inflation. The 10-year yield rose 11 basis points to 2.49%.

Bitcoin rose 1% to $44,412.24.

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