HomeFinanceMarket Coverage - Thursday April 28 Yahoo Finance

Market Coverage – Thursday April 28 Yahoo Finance

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U.S. stocks were firmly higher Thursday morning following a choppy previous session that saw stocks recover some losses as markets attempt to recover from a sell-off earlier this week.

The S&P 500 jumped 1.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 185 points, or about 0.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 1.4%, buoyed by a rally in Facebook parent company Meta (FB) after the social media giant reported stronger-than-expected earnings after the close on Wednesday.

Investors mostly shrugged off new data out of Washington D.C., that showed U.S. economic activity unexpectedly contracted at the start of 2022 for the first time in nearly two years as lingering supply chain imbalances, inflationary pressures, and war in Eastern Europe weighed on growth. First-quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) fell at a 1.4% annualized rate after a 6.9% pace of growth at the end of 2021.

“The latest snapshots of economic data remind us of the volatile and complicated times in which we live,” Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst Mark Hamrick said in an emailed note.

With just three trading days left in April, the typically-bullish month is on pace for its worst performance since logging a 9.0% drop in 1970, according to data from LPL Financial Research.

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“The usual suspects of a slowing economy, a hawkish Federal Reserve Bank, supply chain worries, war in Europe, and now another China shutdown have all combined to make this one of the worst starts to a year ever for both stocks and bonds,” LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick said in a commentary Tuesday.

Investors are in the throes of a lackluster earnings season, with 180 companies on the docket this week for quarterly reports. Moreover, traders are digesting mixed results from high-flying mega-cap tech giants: Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) are set to round out Big Tech earnings after the closing bell on Thursday on the back of figures from Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), and Meta (FB) in recent days. The technology behemoths represent 22.2% of the S&P 500’s market capitalization.

Shares of Meta Platforms were up roughly 17% in early trading Thursday after the company reported first-quarter daily active users that beat expectations after Wednesday’s market close. Last quarter, Facebook lost $230 billion in market value, marking the worst single-day wipeout in history for any U.S. company after the social media giant reported a profit decline attributed in part to a drop-off of U.S. users on its flagship platform and competition from TikTok.

“The bar was super low for Facebook, and this report is likely to clear it,” analysts at Vital Knowledge said in a note following the earnings release.

Elsewhere in markets, investors continue to grapple with headwinds from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, persisting supply chain snafus and inflationary pressures, and a further liftoff on interest rates as soon as next week when the Federal Reserve convenes for its next policy-setting on May 4. Adding to those crosscurrents are renewed worries over an ongoing COVID-19 resurgence in key regions across China that threaten to exacerbate the global economic outlook.

LPL Financial pointed out, however, that double-digit declines during a year are normal.

“After only one 5% pullback all of last year, markets have provided an unfriendly reminder in 2022,” Detrick said in his Tuesday note, adding that since 1980, the average correction each year is 14.0%, putting this year’s 13.0% correction in perspective.

He also pointed out that during the 21 times since 1980 that the S&P 500 has seen double-digit declines from its peak, the index managed to come back and finish the year positive 12 of those years.

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