Wall Street rallied again on Thursday, led by excitement around tech stocks and a surge for Facebook’s parent company. The benchmark S&P 500 rose 60 points, or 1.4%, to 4,179, its highest level in five months, per CNBC. The tech-centric Nasdaq fared even better, rising 384 points, or 3.2%, to 12,200. The Dow, however, actually lost ground, slipping 39 points, or 0.1%, to 34,053. Overall, Facebook parent Meta led the way with a leap of about 24% after it reported better revenue for the latest quarter than analysts expected and said it expects to spend less this year than earlier forecast, per the AP.
A day earlier, stocks and bonds took off after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank is finally starting to see progress in its battle against inflation. Markets took that as a cue that a pause may indeed be imminent, and investors even raised bets for cuts to rates late this year. Rate cuts act like steroids for markets, juicing prices and providing support for the economy. Thursday's rally stretched across the Atlantic, where markets rose after central banks for Europe and the United Kingdom also raised rates in their efforts to squelch inflation.
The next big event for Wall Street will be a suite of earnings reports from Big Tech companies coming after trading closes Thursday, including Apple, Amazon, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Each rose more than 3%. Because these stocks are the biggest by value, their movements carry more sway on the S&P 500 and other indexes. After those will be Friday’s jobs report, where economists expect to see a slowdown in hiring. The job market has largely remained resilient even in the face of swift rate hikes by the Fed over the last year.
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