US stock market opens higher despite weak data

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ANKARA

Despite weak macroeconomic data, major US stock market indexes opened higher on Friday, amid a decline in volatility.

The Dow Jones was up 127 points, or 0.4%, to 32,746 points at 9.45 a.m. East Coast time (1345GMT), with big investing banking players JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs rising around 1% each.

The S&P 500 gained 16 points, or 0.4%, to 3,925, and the Nasdaq rose 37 points, or 0.3%, to 13,015, with Novavax and Gamestop rising more than 4%.

The rise in indexes came as the VIX volatility index was down 2.7% to 19.27. The fear index has recently been above the critical level of 20 in recent weeks, creating worries for investors.

The weak macroeconomic data, however, suggests the world’s largest economy is far from recovering from the pandemic.

Personal income in the US declined 7.1% in February, while personal spending fell 1%, according to Department of Commerce earlier Friday.

The decline in personal income came after an impressive revised increase of 10.1% in January, while analysts expected a 7.3% drop for last month.

The fall in income led to personal consumption expenditures falling 1% in February, against the market expectation of a 0.7% contraction. The figure for January was revised up to 3.4%.

Overall, personal income dropped more than $1.5 trillion in February, while personal expenditures declined $149 billion, according to the department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill signed into law earlier this month, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans, is expected to provide an increase in both personal income and spending as checks continue to be distributed.

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