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US STOCKS-Nasdaq gains as Amazon earnings stall tech rout

por Lucy Ryland (2022-05-10)

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Medha Singh

Feb 4 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq rose in choppy trading on Friday as Amazon results lifted the mood at the end of a week of volatile trading that saw mixed earnings from Big Tech firms and a surprise jump in U.S.
jobs growth. Inc jumped 13.1% after reporting robust earnings in the holiday quarter, wrapping up a mixed bag of earnings from megacap growth stocks that dictated market moves this week.

Facebook-owner Meta Platforms Inc's historic plunge after disappointing results shook markets on Thursday, sending the Nasdaq nearly 4% lower in the previous session.

"These are eye-watering, stomach churning moves normally associated with penny stocks, and yet they are happening in companies with billion-dollar market caps," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Despite the earnings-driven whiplash in technology stocks, all three major stock indexes are on track to end their first week of February higher, with the indexes eyeing their second week of gains in a row.

Following losses on Thursday, social media companies such as Snap Inc surged 44% after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter user growth and outlook.

Pinterest Inc rose 6.2% after its quarterly revenue beat estimates as retailers splurged on advertising during the holiday quarter, while Twitter Inc, expected to report results on Feb.

10, rose 5.5%.

At 11:54 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 97.68 points, or 0.28%, to 35,013.48, the S&P 500 gained 5.11 points, or 0.11%, to 4,482.55, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 120.54 points, or 0.87%, to 13,999.36.

Four of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors advanced, with energy stocks at the highest since 2018 as crude prices touched a seven-year peak.

Of the 278 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far during this earnings season, 78.4% of them have beaten analysts' earnings estimates, march 7 2023 calendar compared with an average of 84% over the past four quarters, according to Refinitiv data.

The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 467,000 jobs last month, compared with the 150,000 jobs addition forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

The data for December was revised higher to show 510,000 jobs created, instead of the previously reported 199,000.

"Employment report really stunned markets ... not only did we have a surprisingly strong number, we had a very strong revision," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

"You also have average hourly earnings coming in much hotter than expected, which is just fueling the theme that everything is just leading to more inflation."

Fears of faster-than-expected rate hikes to curb a surge in inflation have haunted markets since the beginning of the year.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by 2-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.1-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 22 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 31 new highs and 283 new lows.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)