S&P 500 rises to the highest level in five months Thursday as Meta leads a tech comeback

What the Federal Reserve's 25 basis point interest rate hike means for investors

The S&P 500 hit a five-month high on Thursday as sentiment around better-anticipated technology shares improved than the Meta results, which have dragged the market lower for the past year.

The broader market index jumped 0.8%, or its best level since August. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.4% to its highest level since September. The gains came ahead of a trio of big tech results followed by bells in Apple, Amazon and Alphabet.

At the same time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average underperformed, falling 218 points, or about 0.6%. Major indicators have been dragged down Mark Shares after the pharmaceutical firm issued a weak outlook on its latest earnings results, despite beating estimates on the top and bottom lines.

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Some of the momentum came from the day’s gains as bond yields hit their lows. The S&P 500 rose 1.85% at one point. The January jobs report is out on Friday.

meta The stock rose more than 24% on its best day since 2013 after reporting a beat on fourth-quarter revenue and announcing a $40 billion stock buyback. This helped investors see past losses in business units overseen by Metaverse.

Other mega-cap tech stocks rose on the back of these results. Google-parent shares the alphabet was more than 5%, while the amazon jumped more than 6%. apple Shares gained more than 2%.

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Tech stocks outperformed in 2023, buoyed by recent signs of cooling inflation that investors hope could lead to a pause in its aggressive rate-hiking campaign by the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 information technology sector is up more than 13% this year after falling more than 28% last year.

“It shows that growth is outpacing the norm as it relieves some of the pressure that came with the risk-on rhetoric in the markets through 2022,” said Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.

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Wall Street is closing in on a winning session after the Fed announced a 0.25 percentage point interest rate hike on Wednesday. While the central bank gave no indication of an imminent pause in rate hikes, investors were encouraged by the smaller hike and comments by Chair Jerome Powell acknowledging the easing of inflation.

Economists, on average, expect Friday’s data to show that 187,000 jobs were added in January, according to Dow Jones estimates. However, Goldman economists said Thursday afternoon that payrolls could be as high as 300,000, a large number that means the Fed will have to do more to cool the economy and control inflation.


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