S&P 500 Scores Best Weekly Gain in 18 Months; Chile’s IPSA Tops LatAm Hikes

West Texas Intermediate rose above $115 per barrel after a volatile session before the Memorial Day holiday

A Wall Street street sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S.
May 27, 2022 | 06:00 PM

A roundup of Friday’s stock market results from across the region

🗽 On Wall Street:

U.S. markets closed higher on Friday, a sign of recovery after seven straight weeks of weekly losses.

The S&P 500 erased May’s losses and posted its best weekly gain since November 2020, up 2.47% at closing, while shares of companies such as Apple Inc (AAPL) and Tesla Inc (TSLA) helped push the Nasdaq Composite (CMPDL) 3.33% higher by the end of the day, and the Dow Jones closed with a gain of 1.76%.

“Right now it’s fair to start looking for bargains,” Lori Calvasina, head of U.S. equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told Bloomberg Television. “If you get people more comfortable in the fundamental narrative going forward, I think stocks are cheap enough to buy. Are valuations a reason to buy on their own? No, not yet,” the analyst said.


🔑 The Day’s Key Movements:

Crude oil posted its fifth consecutive weekly gain and closed at its highest level since early March, amid signs of shortages in fuel inventories as the U.S. summer driving season approaches.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled above $115 per barrel after a volatile session ahead of the Memorial Day holiday next Monday. Drivers face rising costs with gasoline stocks at the lowest seasonal level since 2014.

Fuel markets have tightened globally following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, which has disrupted trade flows and stoked inflation.


🥇 Latin America’s Leader:

Most Latin American stock exchanges closed with gains on Friday for the second consecutive day, influenced by the good mood of the U.S. markets.

Chile’s IPSA (IPSA) put in the best performance in the region, closing the day with a gain of 2.26%, boosted by the raw materials, communication services and utilities sectors.

Shares of Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile SA (SQM/B), Banco de Crédito e Inversiones (BCI) and CAP SA (CAP) saw the sharpest rises.

Colombia’s COLCAP (COLCAP) index rose by 1.57%, driven by the consumer staples, financials and energy sectors. Shares of Sociedades Bolívar SA (GRUPOBOL), Banco de Bogotá (BOGOTA) and Bancolombia (BCOLO) were the highest climbers.

📉 A Bad Day:

The region’s only index to close lower was Argentina’s MERVAL (MERVAL), down a nominal 0.03%. The shares of Sociedad Comercial del Plata (COME), Banco de Valores SA (VALO) and Transener SA (TRAN) had the sharpest setbacks.

🍝 For the Dinner Table Debate:

For the last month, since the end of April, news of layoffs have been making headlines in the world of startups in Latin America as a result of the global crisis in the technology sector, the volatility of interest rates, and the falling profitability and tighter cash flow of startups.

This phenomenon is not unique to the region, but rather part of a domino effect coming from the United States, where technology companies that are already listed on the stock market have seen their shares fall and have opted to cut staff to streamline their operations, as is the case of Netflix, Carvana and PayPal, to mention a few.


In Latin America, some of the unicorns that have been laying off staff are VTEX, QuintoAndar, Loft, Creditas and Facily, all of which are Brazilian, while in Mexico there is Bitso and in Argentina Buenbit.

However, David Vélez, co-founder and CEO of fintech and neobank Nubank (NU), said in an interview with Bloomberg Línea this week that his company does not currently foresee the need to let any staff go.