Stock market today: Dow wins, Meta soars, Amgen tumbles

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The actions held a party on Thursday.

The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all posted strong gains, defying a shrinking economy and celebrating better-than-expected earnings from a host of tech companies, including parent meta-platforms Facebook. Three other tech heavyweights: Apple, Amazon and


Intel
—report after the closing bell.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 615 points, or 1.9%, while the S&P 500 gained 2.5% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 3.1%. The trading day was very different from Wednesday, when the indices soared, before the gains faded. The Nasdaq even set a record for the year.

For tech stocks, “many of these names [had] sold a bit,” said Larry Adam, chief investment officer at Raymond James. “The bar [for earnings] had been lowered. Some of these names… were clearly oversold.

This paved the way for revenue gains from Meta Platforms (ticker: FB).

The social media giant’s earnings report showed earnings of $2.72 per share, beating estimates of $2.56 per share, on sales of $27.91 billion, below expectations of 28 .2 billion. Sales were up 7% year over year, and the company’s guidance for the current quarter was $29 billion, in the middle of its previous range. This represents stable growth compared to last year. The stock, which had already lost nearly half its value for the year as earnings entered, jumped 18% on Thursday.

That helped push the Nasdaq higher, as the company’s $475 billion market capitalization at Wednesday’s close was just over 2% of the Nasdaq’s overall market capitalization.

But it wasn’t just Meta Platforms’ heavy weighting in the index that made it jump. The results were strong enough to boost confidence in the earnings growth of other internet stocks.


Instantaneous
(SNAP) gained 6.4%, while


eBay
(EBAY) the stock gained 3.3%. Alphabet (GOOGL), which plunged on Wednesday after its earnings, rose 3.7%.

“Meta-investors breathe a sigh of relief as today’s numbers were no worse than feared,” the New York Stock Exchange strategists wrote. “It also helps to pull other names up.”

And tech stocks outside of the internet sector were also advancing. Qualcomm (QCOM) stock jumped 9.7% after posting earnings of $3.21 per share, beating estimates of $2.91 per share, on sales of $11.16 billion, in above expectations of $10.6 billion. The QTC chip segment, with sales of $9.55 billion, beating expectations of $8.86 billion, partly drove the overall pace of sales. These results helped the iShares Semiconductor Exchange-Traded (SOXX) fund gain 5.5%.

Apple’s (AAPL) earnings are released after markets close on Thursday and could keep the party going.

The S&P 500, part of whose total market value is tied to tech stocks, has rebounded from its low for the year. It has bottomed just above the 4,170 level three times this year and is now near 3% from that point, which it revisited on Tuesday.

So heading into Thursday’s session, the stock market looked “oversold,” according to analysts at Bespoke Investment Group. This means that the selling pressure had been intense enough to knock the indices off course, presenting an opportunity for bearish buyers. The S&P 500 level was almost 4% below its 50-day moving average before the open – and now it is 2% lower – meaning it is below its recent trend. There were more than 223 oversold stocks in the index this morning, up from 57 a week ago, with much of it coming from the tech sector.

No wonder strong earnings reports drove these stocks higher. They had already considered the worst-case scenario, which did not materialize.

Elsewhere, real gross domestic product growth in the first quarter was negative 1.4%, missing expectations of a 1.1% gain and well below the previous result of a 6.9% gain %. It may sound scary, but there is good news. Real GDP growth is the growth of total economic output minus inflation, which has recently spiked. This resulted in a negative real growth rate, but nominal GDP growth, which shows the gain in total output taking into account the positive impact of price increases, was much higher.

Blaming inflation is one thing, but a weak export count also contributed to the lower overall result. Exports fell 5.9% due to battered economic demand abroad in light of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Without the decline in exports, the total number would have increased by 1.7%, noted Mike Reynolds, vice president of investment strategy at Glenmede. “The silver lining is that the American consumer stays healthy,” Reynolds wrote.

Overseas, the pan-European Stoxx 600 gained 0.6% and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.8%.

Here are five stocks in motion on Thursday:

PayPal (PYPL) stock gained 11% after the company reported earnings of 88 cents per share, in line with estimates, on sales of $6.5 billion, above expectations of $6.4 billion of dollars.

Pinterest (PINS) stock gained 14% after the company reported earnings of 10 cents per share, beating estimates of 4 cents per share, on sales of $575 million, above expectations of 573 millions of dollars.

Ford Motor (F) stock fell 1.6% after the company reported earnings of 38 cents per share, beating estimates of 37 cents per share. The company reaffirmed its full-year operating profit guidance of $12 billion.

Carvana (CVNA) shares fell 2%. Apollo Global Management has agreed to help the online used car retailer with its bond sale to fund the $2.2 billion acquisition of car auction network ADESA, The Wall Street reported. Log.

Amgen (AMGN) fell 4.3% after the biotech group said it owed the Internal Revenue Service more than $7 billion, eclipsing the $1.5 billion earnings report in 6 .2 billion in revenue in the first quarter.

Write to Jack Denton at jack.denton@dowjones.com and Jacob Sonenshine at jacob.sonenshine@barrons.com

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