The flagship fund of star stockpicker Cathie Wood hit an 11-month high Wednesday, extending a rally that has been powered by bets that inflation would fall rapidly and benefit the sort of speculative technology stocks she is known for.
The $8.4 billion ARK Innovation ETF rose 0.6% in morning trading Wednesday to its highest level since August 2022. The fund is up nearly 52% for the year to date as top holdings including Coinbase Global Inc. and Exact Sciences Corp. are up nearly 100% or more.
Wood's fund was among the worst-performing U.S. equity funds overall in 2022 as she continued to downplay the impact of inflation and said that deflation would be the larger issue driving markets.
U.S. consumer prices rose modestly in June and registered their smallest annual increase in more than two years, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
A fall in inflation will likely continue to bolster speculative technology stocks because investors are now starting to price in interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve that are not triggered by a recession, said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group. Lower interest rates help unprofitable or other early-stage companies by lowering their borrowing costs and increasing the value of future profits.
"Anything that puts interest rate hikes at bay is definitely positive for any small-cap or speculative tech stock," he said.
Futures markets are now pricing in a roughly 80% chance that the Fed's benchmark rate will be between 5.25% and 5.5% at its September meeting, up from a 52% chance a month ago. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates by 25 basis points from the current range of 5.0-5.25% at its meeting on July 26.
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