Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Wall Street rises following reports on US job market, Big Tech earnings

by BIZ Magazine

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising following mixed reports about the U.S. job market and profits at two of Wall Street’s most influential stocks. The S&P 500 was up 0.6% early Friday and heading for its first gain in four days. The Dow was up 136 points, or 0.4%, and the Nasdaq composite was up 1%. Treasury yields dipped after the government said hiring was a touch weaker last month than expected. That could help keep pressure off high inflation. Amazon jumped 9.2% after reporting a much bigger profit than expected. Apple fell 3.1% after reporting revenue that just barely topped forecasts.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets rose Friday before a U.S. jobs update that could influence interest rate plans after Britain’s central bank raised its key lending rate.

London, Shanghai, Paris and Tokyo advanced. Oil prices advanced.

Wall Street futures rebounded. U.S. stocks fell for a third day Thursday after the Bank of England raised its main lending rate to a 15-year high and indicated it could stay high for a while.

Investors were rattled Wednesday when Fitch Ratings cut its credit rating on U.S. government debt, though analysts said it made little difference.

Investors were waiting for a U.S. government update on the unexpectedly strong labor market, which Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has cited as a factor in deciding whether more rate hikes are needed to cool inflation.

The jobs data have “the potential to tilt the balance towards another rate hike in September,” said Francesco Pesole of ING in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.4% to 7,556.55. The CAC 40 in Paris added 0.4% to 7,288.29 and the DAX in Frankfurt was 0.2% higher at 15,920.97.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was up 0.4%. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.2%.

On Thursday, the S&P and Dow both lost 0.2%. The Nasdaq composite dipped 0.1%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2% to 3,288.08 after China’s central bank governor told real estate developers they would be allowed to raise more money by selling bonds. That eases debt controls imposed in 2020 that sent the industry into a tailspin.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.6% to 19,539.46 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.1% to 32,192.75.

The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.1% to 2,602.80 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.2% to 7,325.30.

India’s Sensex rose 0.4% to 65,534.10. New Zealand and Bangkok gained while Singapore and Jakarta retreated.

Investors are watching whether the U.S. economy can avoid a recession following repeated rate hikes over the past year to cool inflation.

Strength in hiring has prompted traders to push back the possible recession timeline and raised hopes it might be less severe. However, the Fed might see strong hiring as contributing to upward pressure on inflation and raise interest rates again.

Critics say a consensus has formed too quickly on Wall Street that inflation will moderate, allowing the Fed to start cutting rates early next year.

The Bank of England warned Thursday it was too early to declare an end to rate hikes, because inflation risks, including higher wages, had “begun to crystallize.” The bank said that inflation is forecast to drop to 4.9% by the end of the year, but that is more than double its 2% target.

“I don’t think it’s time to declare that it’s all over,” Bank of England Gov. Andrew Bailey said.

Treasury yields in the bond market marched higher on Thursday, drawing money out of stocks.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, or the difference between the day’s market price and the payout at maturity, rose to 4.18% from 4.09% late Wednesday. It is up from 2.75% a year ago.

Qualcomm, a maker of processor chips for smartphones and other devices, tumbled 8.2% for one of the larger losses in the S&P 500. It reported weaker revenue for the spring than expected, even though its profit topped forecasts.

On the winning side was cleaning products maker Clorox, which jumped 9%. It reported stronger profit and revenue than analysts expected.

Exxon Mobil gained 1.7%. They benefited as crude prices rallied after Saudi Arabia said it will keep in place cuts to production meant to boost oil’s price.

Two hugely influential companies reported their results after trading ended for the day.

Apple and Amazon are two of the largest companies on Wall Street by market value, which gives their stock movements more heft on the S&P 500 and other indexes.

They also both soared more than 45% this year on expectations of continued growth. That means pressure on them to deliver big results to justify the big stock gains.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 29 cents to $81.84 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract surged $2.06 on Thursday to $81.55. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, added 27 cents to $85.41 per barrel in London. It advanced $1.94 the previous session to $85.14.

The dollar edged down to 142.66 yen from Thursday’s 142.71 yen. The euro held steady at $1.0942.

You may also like

Update Required Flash plugin