The Nasdaq Composite rose on Thursday, following a strong earnings report from Meta Platforms, as the market looked to recover from this month’s sell-off.
The high-tech index added 2.8%. The S&P 500 gained 2.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 560 points, or 1.7%.
Investors have endured volatile trading sessions this week as stocks struggle to find direction. Major averages staged a big intraday rally to close higher on Monday, but stocks fell on Tuesday, leading to the Nasdaq’s worst day since 2020. Stocks tried to rally on Wednesday, but pared gains late in the session with the Nasdaq closing unchanged at its 2022 low.
A slew of corporate earnings reports buoyed market sentiment on Thursday, appearing to be a green light for investors to pick up beaten names.
“It’s been a pretty good earnings season and that’s supportive of the equity market,” said Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investments.
Meta shares rose about 17% after improving earnings, a sign investors may see signs of relief in the battered tech sector. The shares fell 48% in the year before the results.
Qualcomm gained about 8% on the back of solid earnings, while PayPal rose about 8% despite issuing weak guidance for the second quarter.
Merck shares rose 5% and led the Dow Jones gains after a surge in earnings. McDonald’s, Eli Lilly and Southwest posted profits on Thursday after their quarterly reports.
Shares of Apple and Amazon rose more than 4% before reporting earnings after the bell.
On the downside, Caterpillar fell about 3% despite an improvement in earnings. Teladoc plunged more than 46% after reporting weaker-than-expected results.
Thursday’s moves followed a volatile session on Wednesday in which the Nasdaq Composite fell to its lowest level in 2022 as stocks appeared to rebound from a tech-led April sell-off.
Stocks have struggled this month amid concerns about slowing global growth, rising inflation and Federal Reserve tightening.
US gross domestic product unexpectedly fell 1.4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with the 1% growth expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
Some investors downplayed the economic contraction, citing rising prices and a trade deficit as the biggest contributors to the drop.
“In a nutshell, blame the record trade deficit for the contraction in real GDP, coupled with an 8% price deflator,” Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, said in a note.
The S&P 500 is down 5.8% in April, on pace for its biggest monthly decline since March 2020. The Nasdaq Composite has lost around 10% since early April and is on track for its worst monthly performance since October 2020. 2008. The Dow has been a relatively outperformer, losing about 3% this month.