Latin American Markets Close Mixed; US Tech Shares Drive Wall Street Recovery

Argentina’s Merval index led the gains in Latin America, while the NUSE closed higher following a volatile session amid the publication of economic data

People pass in front of the entrance sign to the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photographer: Diego Giudice/Bloomberg
By Bloomberg Línea
February 24, 2023 | 12:48 AM

Read this story in


A roundup of Thursday’s stock market results from across the Americas

👑 Argentina’s Merval leads in Latin America:

Most Latin American stock markets closed in the green on Thursday, with the exception of the Peruvian and Mexican stock exchanges. Argentina’s Merval (MERVAL) was today the regional indicator that led the session’s gains, after closing with a 1.34% increase.

Shares of Cresud (CRES), Grupo Supervielle (SUPV) and Loma Negra (LOMA) were among the highest climbers on Thursday.

Today it was announced that the Argentine company MercadoLibre (MELI) reported a record turnover of $3 billion in the fourth quarter, in line with the expectations of analysts consulted by Bloomberg News. Growth was 56.5% in constant currency compared to the same period in 2021.


For the 12 months of 2022, total net revenues totaled US$10.5 billion and Brazil accounted for about 54%, or $5.6 billion. In an interview with Bloomberg Línea, Richard Cathcart, MercadoLibre’s director of investor relations, said that the last quarter was record in both revenue and profit, surpassing $1 billion in operating profit for the first time.

📉 A bad day for Peru’s stock market:

The Peruvian stock market led losses today. Peru’s S&P/BVL (SPBLPGPT) closed with a 0.76% drop affected by the performance of the industrials, materials and finance sectors.

The shares of Aenza SA (AENZAC1), Empresa Agroindustrial Pomalca (POMALCC1) and Southern Copper Corporation (SCCO) saw the sharpest losses.

What’s the Secret to Peru’s Financial Stability Amid the Ongoing Political Turmoil?

After revealing that Peruvian economic growth in the fourth quarter of the year was 1.7%, evidencing the slowdown, the country’s statistics bureau INEI reported Thursday that private investment contracted by 1.8% between the months of October and December, thus registering its largest drop in the past year and culminating 2022 with a 0.3% drop in this activity.

According to the INEI report published on February 23rd, the 1.8% drop in private investment in the fourth quarter was mainly due to the lower execution of private works related to the expansion and remodeling of housing, office buildings, shopping centers, educational centers, civil engineering works, among other activities. In the third quarter, this activity had already fallen by 1%, which ended up accumulating a negative balance throughout 2022 compared to growth in 2021.

🗽On Wall Street:

Stocks rose in a jittery session before inflation data that will help shape the views on whether a soft landing is still on the table amid the Federal Reserve’s most-aggressive tightening drive in a generation.

After erasing a rally of almost 1%, the S&P 500 came back up — halting a four-day rout. The index regained its 4,000 mark breached earlier this week in a fight to stay above a key uptrend line from the October low. The Nasdaq 100 outperformed as huge names like Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) rebounded and Nvidia Corp. soared 14% on a bullish forecast.


The S&P 500 climbed 0.53%, the Nasdaq Composite (CCMPDL) 0.72% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 0.33%.

The recovery that followed the worst selloff this year for equities came with a series of twists and turns on Wall Street.

One of the reasons is that Friday’s personal consumption expenditures index — the Fed’s preferred price gauge — is expected to show acceleration. The report will likely add to a string of unfavorable figures that so far cement the case for the central bank to hold rates at 5.25% for some time, according to Bloomberg Economics’ Anna Wong. The current benchmark sits in a range between 4.5% and 4.75%.


In the run-up to the numbers, data showed US economic growth in the fourth quarter was weaker than previously estimated, reflecting a downward revision to consumer spending. A separate report highlighted unrelenting labor-market tightness.

To Michael Shaoul at Marketfield Asset Management, investors are caught between welcoming the evidence that the US economy remains on a stable footing and fearing that this resilience will provoke a stern reaction from policymakers.

“Granted things could be worse, the specter of a rapid deterioration of the economic cycle appears to have been banished, with recent economic data and corporate earnings both confirming that although growth has decelerated from the stimulus driven boom, we have not entered a period of obvious weakness,” he added.

After a raucous stock rally hit a wall this month, retail traders have retaken a bearish view that dominated their outlook for much of last year.


Following two weeks of tepid optimism, the bull-bear spread from the American Association of Individual Investors survey flipped to -17 in the week ending Feb. 22, the most pessimistic stance since the start of 2023.

Las bolsas de Estados Unidos operaron este jueves bajo mucha volatilidad mientras los operadores sopesaban lo que viene para la política monetaria de la Reserva Federal y analizaban la publicación de una serie de informes económicos, cuyos resultados se pueden considerar mixtos.

Para Michael Shaoul de Marketfield Asset Management, los inversores están atrapados entre dar la bienvenida a la evidencia de que la economía de EE.UU. se mantiene estable y temer que esta resiliencia provoque una reacción severa de los responsables políticos.


Billionaire quant investor Cliff Asness warned that US stocks are vulnerable to a macro shock if inflation doesn’t stage a spirited decline as the market expects. The co-founder of AQR Capital Management told Bloomberg Television that despite last year’s declines, equities remain expensive versus history, based on a broad assumption that price growth is set to slow.

The US economy has obstacles to overcome, though there’s still a chance for a soft landing, Jamie Dimon said. “The US economy right now is doing quite well — consumers have a lot of money, they’re spending it, jobs are plentiful,” the JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s chief told CNBC.

“Out in front of us there’s some scary stuff,” he added.


In other corporate news, Netflix Inc. tumbled on plans to cut the price of subscriptions in over 100 countries. Domino’s Pizza Inc. sank the most in more than a decade as delivery woes and softening demand caused fourth-quarter sales to trail Wall Street expectations and led management to cut targets for revenue growth.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin is on pace for its second monthly advance, breaking with stocks and other riskier assets that have slid amid renewed concern about rising interest rates. The crypto market’s rally recovers only a sliver of the ground lost last year, when prices tumbled and the collapse of the FTX exchange caused a pullback by investors.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed, the euro was little changed at $1.0601, the British pound fell 0.2% to $1.2022 and the Japanese yen rose 0.1% to 134.66 per dollar.


🍝For the dinner table debate:

In recent months, Elon Musk lost his crown as the world’s richest person in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to 73-year-old Frenchman Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury group LVMH, which has a portfolio of 75 prestige brands.

With a fortune estimated at $170.8 billion, Arnault does not have as much of a media presence and prefers a slightly lower profile than Musk, but some of his lavish spending, mainly on real estate, has been in the media of late. The tycoon enjoys homes with incredible views, so his property investments are many.

Given his immense fortune, it is not surprising that he has more homes than he can live in. In France alone, his mansion reportedly spans 12 acres and is valued at $200 million. He also owns the historic mansion and vineyard Casa degli Atellani, which once belonged to Leonardo da Vinci.


In the last five years he has been acquiring land in different neighborhoods in Beverly Hills, and owns four mansions in California. His private car collection includes Rolls Royce Ghost, Rolls Royce Dawn, Bentley Bentayga, BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and a Cadillac Escalade.

Arnault also has an art collection that includes works by Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore and Andy Warhol.

Leidys Becerra, a content producer at Bloomberg Línea, and Rita Nazareth of Bloomberg News, contributed to this report.