Nasdaq Leads the Way for Stocks with 3% Gain

Last updated: 11:21 AM EST

Stocks continue to rally as we head into the middle of today’s trading session. As of 11:21 pm EST, the S&P 500 (SPX) and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) increased by 1.4% and 3.1% respectively. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) decreased by 0.3%.

Last updated: 9:49 AM EST

Nasdaq 100 (NDX) increases by more than 2.3% at the open, boosted by better revenues posted by Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) and an unexpected announcement of a $40 billion stock buyback.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (SPX1% up, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 0.6% as of 9:49 am EST, Thursday.

Initial jobless claims data showed that jobless claims unexpectedly fell by 3,000 to 183,000 in the week ending Jan. 28 – a nine-month low even as corporate layoffs continue. This was better than consensus expectations of 195,000.

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Traders will also be watching the earnings of three US tech giants, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), all of which will report after the market closes today. Also ringing in today’s reports are the auto restaurant and quick service sectors: Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX). Following the Meta rally, investors will depend on the news to hear what the management of these companies predict for 2023.

Increasingly, investors today will look for more signals than economic data on unemployment claims, production, labor costs, and factory order reporting.

While the market fell immediately after the conclusion of yesterday’s FOMC meeting, investors jumped on the buying opportunity, sending stocks higher at the end of the trading day. According to experts, the markets only pulled and held on to the Fed’s key statements which were positive and pushed the US indices higher. Although Powell has hinted at some easing of inflation, the FOMC has pushed for a “sustainable increase in the target range” to keep inflation at 2%.

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Needless to say, European markets opened higher today as investors await the decision to raise interest rates by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BOE) to be announced today.

Asia-Pacific markets remain depressed

Asia-Pacific markets had an uneventful day, with most indexes ending the day in the green, following cheers in US markets. Importantly, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) this morning raised the interest rate by 25 basis points to 5.00%.

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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.52 percent after starting the day on a higher note. Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Stock Exchange ended modestly up 0.02% and Shenzhen Component closed up 0.08%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.20%, while the Topix fell 0.36% for the day.

In its Indian counterpart, India’s Nifty 50 index fell sharply in morning trade after Adani Group stocks fell on the Hindenburg report. At the same time, the company withdrew its initial public offering of $2.5 billion. The index ended the day with a decrease of 0.03.

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