U.S. stocks were mixed on Thursday, highlighted by a rise in tech stocks following the The latest interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve and before another batch of earnings from the biggest players in the tech industry.
The technology-intensive Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) jumped nearly 3% in midday trading. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^ DJI) late, down 0.4%.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury fell to 3.358% on Thursday morning. The dollar index rose 0.12% to $101.33
Major U.S. stock averages closed higher on Wednesday following the Federal Reserve’s much-anticipated rate hike of 25 basis points in another slowdown in its inflation-fighting campaign. President Jerome Powell optimistic comments on the state of inflation drives the markets up.
The Fed’s move comes on the heels of recent economic data showing more evidence of inflation decelerating in recent months, though Powell stressed that the Fed’s campaign is far from over.
The macro chart was mixed on Wednesday, with The latest ISM manufacturing PMI declining and missing consensus expectations. Meanwhile, the private payroll added 106,000 jobs in January, against 170,000 expected by economists.
The next major event on the macro front is Friday’s jobs report, which will be key for investors to further assess whether there is evidence of an easing in the labor market.
The December jobs report showed the labor market remains strong, employers added a solid 233,000 jobs for the month and an average monthly increase of 375,000 throughout last year.
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims fell to 183,000 for the week ended January 28. the Department of Labor said Thursday, against 195,000 expected by economists.
On the profit side, Meta Platforms (META) released fourth-quarter results after the bell that beat revenue expectations, while cutting expenses by $5 billion. He also announced a $40 billion share buyback. Shares of the social media giant jumped more than 23% in midday trading Thursday morning.
The most weighted components of the S&P 500 – Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), alphabetical (GOOG) – prepare to release quarterly earnings on Thursday after the bell. All were up at least 3% in early trading.
Merck & Cie (M.K.R.) job fourth better than expected quarterly results, but forecast weaker earnings in the near term, pushing stocks lower on Thursday. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.62 per share, down 10% from the same period last year, but up from consensus estimates of $1.54 per share. Merck said revenue rose 2% to $13.83 billion from a forecast of $13.67 billion.
Separately, Eli Lilly (THERE IS) on Thursday reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter results and raised its full-year profit forecast. Eli Lilly said adjusted earnings for the quarter were $2.09 per share, versus a consensus forecast of $1.78. Revenue fell 8.75% from a year ago to $7.3 billion, a slight miss of expectations of $7.33 billion.
Overall, the fourth-quarter earnings season appears to be improving, noted Andrew Tyler, of the US Market Intelligence team at JP Morgan. But he said the question remains: “Will investors continue the soft landing narrative and current rally?”
The technology results come as layoffs have become evident in recent months in this sector, as companies large and small have reduced their workforces to account for slowing growth after record profits during the pandemic. The total number of tech jobs cut was 41,829 in the past month, the highest of any industry, according to report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
Elsewhere in the markets, Carvana (CVNA) shares soared as much as 33% on Thursday morning, carrying the online used-car seller gains since the beginning of the year over 280%.
Meanwhile, overseas, the Bank of England has followed the Fed in the United States by raising interest rate from 0.5% to 4%, the highest level in 14 years. The 3.5% increase was eagerly awaited by economists. It is the bank’s 10th straight rate hike as it continues to try to rein in record inflation.
The European Central Bank — the central bank of the 20 countries that share the euro — raised interest rates by another half percentage point to 2.5%, in line with market expectations. The next rate hike would be of the same magnitude, the ECB said.
Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @daniromerotv
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