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Wall Street surges, powered by tech rebound

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2023-01-23T19:28:03Z

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Wall Street surged on Monday, led higher by technology stocks as investors embarked on an earnings-heavy week with a renewed enthusiasm for market leading momentum stocks that were battered last year.

All three major stock indexes extended Friday’s rally, gaining momentum as the day progressed. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was out front, boosted by a 4.9% jump in semiconductor shares (.SOX).

“This is a remarkable rally in many of the names that did badly last year,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut. “No one wants to be watching from the sideline with a bunch a cash as the market gets away from them.”

The session marks a calm before the storm in a week jam-packed with high profile earnings reports and back-end loaded with crucial economic data.

Investors are all but certain the Federal Reserve implement a bite-sized interest rate hike next week even as the U.S. central bank remains committed to taming the hottest inflationary cycle in decades.

Financial markets have priced in a 99.8% likelihood of a 25 basis point hike to the Fed funds target rate at the conclusion of its two-day monetary policy meeting next Wednesday, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 328.17 points, or 0.98%, to 33,703.66, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 55.93 points, or 1.41%, to 4,028.54 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 232.84 points, or 2.09%, to 11,373.28.

All 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 were higher, with tech (.SPLRCT) up the most, jumping 2.8%.

Fourth-quarter reporting season has shifted into overdrive, with 57 of the companies in the S&P 500 having posted results. Of those, 63% have delivered better than expected earnings, according to Refinitiv.

Analysts now see S&P 500 fourth quarter earnings, on aggregate, dropping 3% year-on-year, nearly twice as steep as the 1.6% annual drop seen at the beginning of the year, per Refinitiv.

This week, Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Tesla Inc , along with a spate of heavy-hitting industrials including Boeing CO (BA.N), 3M Co (MMM.N), Union Pacific Corp (UNP.N) Dow Inc (DOW.N), Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N), are expected to post quarterly results.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) surged 7.8% as Chief Executive Elon Musk took the stand in his fraud trial related to a tweet saying he had backing to take the electric automaker private.

Baker Hughes Co (BKR.O) missed quarterly profit estimates due to inflation pressures and ongoing disruptions due to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The oilfield services company’s shares were off 0.9%.

Cloud-based software firm Salesforce Inc (CRM.N) jumped 3.1% following news that activist investor Elliot Management Corp has taken a multi-billion dollar stake in the company.

Spotify Technology SA (SPOT.N) joined the growing list of tech-related companies to announce impending job cuts, shedding 6% of its workforce as rising interest rates and the looming possibility of recession continue to pressure growth stocks. The music streaming company’s shares rose 2.1%.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department is expected to unveil its initial “advance” take on fourth-quarter GDP in Thursday, which analysts expect to land at 2.5%.

On Friday, the wide-ranging personal consumption expenditures (PCE) report is due to shed light on consumer spending, income growth, and crucially, inflation.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.53-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.95-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 66 new highs and 14 new lows.