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Strong Retail Outlook Boosts U.S. Markets; Argentina Leads LatAm Gains

West Texas Intermediate futures rose above $114 per barrel for the first time in 10 days

A worker sorts merchandise at an Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey, U.S. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
May 26, 2022 | 06:55 pm

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

🗽 On Wall Street:

U.S. stock markets continue to rally, and a strong retail outlook bolstered confidence in the economy despite supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. Recent trading sessions had seen weakness in the sector driven by earnings outlook cuts at giants such as Walmart Inc (WMT) and Target Corp (TGT), but on Thursday the outlook cleared.

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Traders were also reassured after Federal Reserve minutes released Wednesday showed no signs of a more aggressive path by monetary policymakers to tackle inflation.

Consumer stocks led the gains in the S&P 500, which closed higher with a gain of 1.99%. Elsewhere, companies such as Amazon Inc (AMZN) and Tesla Inc (TSLA) helped the Nasdaq Composite (CCMPDL) advance 2.68%, while the Dow Jones closed up 1.61%.

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“For some traders, having a clear idea of when the Fed will end its hiking cycle is the key to greenlighting stock buying, and that could happen by the end of the summer,” said Edward Moya, an analyst at Oanda.

🔑 The Day’s Key Movements

Crude oil prices rose for the second day in a row on Thursday as U.S. crude and gasoline stockpiles showed signs of further declines ahead of the start of the typical summer road driving season.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures settled above $114 per barrel for the first time in 10 days. Global crude oil markets remain under stress due to the combination of a pickup in demand and the disruption of Russian supplies. U.S. gasoline stocks fell to the lowest seasonal level since 2014, according to government data.

“The outlook for crude oil demand is very uncertain from China, but the U.S. outlook remains good. The latest round of U.S. data suggests the economy is slowing, but the consumer is still spending and will likely travel a lot this summer,” Oanda’s Moya said.

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🥇 Latin America’s Leader:

Stock markets in Latin America also closed with gains, influenced by the good mood of the U.S. markets.

Argentina’s Merval (MERVAL) was the best performer among its regional peers on Thursday after a pause in trading on Wednesday due to a local holiday.

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Argentina’s leading index closed up 2.67%. Shares of Mirgor Sacifia (MIRG), Bolsas y Mercados Argentinos SA (BYMA) and YPF SA (YPFD) had the best performance.

Chile’s Ipsa (IPSA) closed the day as the second highest gainer in Latin America with a rise of 1.52%. The real estate, materials and energy sectors supported the increase, driven by the shares of Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile SA (SQM/B), Banco de Crédito e Inversiones (BCI) and CAP SA (CAP).

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🍝 For the Dinner Table Debate:

Internet scammers are making use of hijacked Twitter Inc (TWTR) accounts to promote fake cryptocurrency platforms that, once installed, allow them to compromise victims’ sensitive data, according to new findings provided exclusively to Bloomberg News.

Since March, scammers have posed as journalists, crypto apps and a variety of non-fungible token (NFTs) projects on Twitter to steal cryptocurrencies, user names and passwords, according to research by Satnam Narang, a research engineer on the cybersecurity staff of cybersecurity firm Tenable Inc.

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Many of the targeted accounts are verified, a sign to researchers that the scammers are either hacking specific pages, paying for illicit access, or both.

As part of the alleged scam, thieves have posed as members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a popular collection of NFTs, as well as the Azuki collection, the MoonBirds project and the Okay Bears NFT community, which has more than 150,000 Twitter followers, Narang discovered.

In one case, scammers posed as a legal affairs reporter for The Age, an Australia-based news service, and asked users to visit a suspicious link to claim a small amount of the cryptocurrency ether (XET), according to the investigation.