S&P 500 Turns Positive After Strong Job Gains, Amazon-Led Run Higher in Tech By Investing.com
By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The S&P 500 turned positive Friday, aided by a rally in Amazon and an unexpectedly strong monthly jobs report that sent U.S. Treasury yields to two-year highs.
The rose 1.10%, the added 0.34%, or 120 points, the Nasdaq rallied 2.2%.
The U.S. 467,000 jobs last month, well above the expectations for 150,000, led by job gains in the leisure and hospitality sector, which confounded expectations that an omicron-impact would weigh on the services industry.
Average hourly earnings increased by a better than expected 0.7% for the month, while the unemployment rate ticked higher to 4%.
An unexpectedly strong number isn’t likely to change the Fed’s thinking on policy but may serve to drown out “the ‘policy mistake’ narrative in the market that bubbled up as the Fed turned more hawkish in recent months,” Jefferies said in a note.
U.S. yields surged on expectations for more aggressive Fed action, with the jumping above 1.9% for the first time in two years.
Tech climbed out of early-day trouble against the backdrop of rising rates as surge in Amazon restored sentiment on growth somewhat after Meta’s plunge a day earlier.
Amazon (NASDAQ:) rallied more than 15% following better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and fiscal first quarter guidance.
The bulk of earnings beat was led by gains from the company’s Rivian stake, but better than feared Q1 guidance and the move to hike the annual price of U.S. Prime subscriptions to offset costs also helped boost investor sentiment.
“Amazon’s profitability should expand as it grows opex more slowly than revenues. Amazon Web Services, Fulfillment by Amazon, and ads should drive steady margin expansion, with Prime memberships driving overall retail revenue growth,” Wedbush said in a note.
Other megacap stocks including Alphabet (NASDAQ:), Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:), and Apple (NASDAQ:) were off their session lows, underpinned the move higher in the broader market.
Snap (NYSE:), meanwhile, jumped more than 60% following quarterly results that topped expectations,
The wild swings in markets recently, however, is expected to continue, and likely sets up rocky road for the weeks ahead until there is more certainty about the path of inflation and the Fed’s plan to tighten monetary policy.
“Volatility generally means bear markets … the fact that we’ve seen a spike in volatility doesn’t bode well for overall markets,” Darren Schuringa, CEO of ASYMmetric ETFs said in an interview with Investing.com on Friday. Volatility is set to continue until “some of these other factors, primarily the Fed and inflation, settle down.”
Portfolio positioning would be best served by companies “that are actually able to pass on price increases to preserve their margins, and are growing the top lines,”