Shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba jumped Wednesday, helping push the Nasdaq Composite Index higher even as a newly released jobs report showed a still-tight labor market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 133.20 points, or 0.40%, to close at 33,269.57. The S&P 500 rose 28.65 points, or 0.75%, to close at 3,852.79, and the Nasdaq rose 71.78 points, or 0.69%, to close at 10,458.76.
Alibaba shares soared after Chinese regulators approved an affiliate’s plan to raise $1.5 billion in new capital. Approval was given on Dec. 30, but not widely publicized until Wednesday. The approval raised hopes that a regulatory crackdown in China may be subsiding.
Alibaba (BABA) stock rose 13.08%, or $12.03 a share, to close at $104.01.
Stocks rose broadly despite the Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, or JOLTS, suggesting inflation remains stubbornly high despite the Federal Reserve raising interest rates seven times in 2022.
The report showed 10.5 million job vacancies in November, slightly more than forecast, and an indication of a still-tight labor market as well as a sign that inflation remains high.
Federal Reserve meeting minutes show central bank officials unanimously agreeing that rate hikes are likely to continue in 2023 to battle inflation. Investors have shown concern for the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes meant to curb inflation that may push the economy into a recession.
Some stocks that rose Wednesday included Netflix (NFLX), which closed at $309.41, up $14.46, or 4.90%. Meta Platforms‘ (META) price of shares rose $2.63, or 2.11%, to close at $127.37.
“The Fed is juggling a lot of balls here in the sense they want to slow the pace of rate increases but they don’t want the market to start a party, which would then ease financial conditions,” Peter Boockvar, of Bleakley Financial Group, told CNBC. “They want to tighten, to crush inflation, but they don’t want to cause a recession.”