Stock Market Today: Dow in Best Month Since 2020 as Big Tech Powers Ahead

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com — The Dow rallied Friday as stocks delivered their best month in more than a year, as a resurgence in big tech following better than feared earnings and expectations for a less-trigger happy Federal Reserve lifted investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1%, or 315 points, the Nasdaq was up 1.9%, and the S&P 500 rose 1.4%. All three major average posted their best month since November 2020.

Energy rallied more than 4% as oil majors Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) racked up gains after reporting better-than-expected results. Rising oil prices also supported sentiment on energy stocks on bets that major oil producers are unlikely to decide to boost output when they meet next week.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple, meanwhile, closed the curtain on big tech earnings with better-than-expected results.

Amazon rallied 10% after reporting quarterly results that beat on the top, but missed on the bottom line after taking a $3.9 billion hit from losses in its stake investment in electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ:RIVN).

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), meanwhile, was up more than 3% after quarterly results topped estimates, supported by strength in the iPhone demand even as supply chain and China lockdown issues weighed on growth.

“[W]e would characterize this quarter as a major bullish statement on iPhone demand and Cupertino’s ability to navigate a supply chain shortage in an impressive performance,” Wedbush said in a note.

Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU), meanwhile, fell 23% after the streaming device company painted a gloomy picture ahead after flagging a slowdown in ad spending and a weaker economic backdrop that will likely dent demand.

Semiconductor stocks, however, weighed on the broader sector, pressured by a more than 8% slump in Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) after the chipmaker cut its guidance after delivering its worst quarterly revenue drop in more than a decade.

The resurgence in tech has coincided with a growing expectation that the Federal Reserve will be forced to rein in rate hikes as the economy continues to take a hit from inflation.

But data showing that the personal consumption expenditures price index rose by a more than expected 6.8% to a fresh 40-year high flags the risk of higher for longer inflation and could “undermine” the Fed’s dovish tone, Stifel said.

The Fed earlier this week indicated that it could slow the pace of tightening after September to reassess the impact of rate hikes on the economy and inflation.

In other news, solar stocks were also in demand following better-than-expected quarterly results from First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR).

Optimism on renewable stocks has also been boosted by the climate spending bill struck by US Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer that is expected to ramp up renewable energy development and growth.

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