The stock market rebounded sharply on Thursday, paring back some of its losses this week as investors cheered a host of strong first quarter earnings reports from the likes of Facebook-parent Meta, Qualcomm, McDonald’s and PayPal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.9%, over 600 points, while the S&P 500 jumped 2.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 3.1%.
Markets got a boost from a slew of solid first quarter earnings on Thursday: Of the 237 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results, 81% have beaten analyst expectations, according to data from Refinitiv.
Shares of Facebook-parent Meta surged nearly 18% after the company reported user growth bounced back in the first quarter, helping lead a rally in tech stocks, while semiconductor company Qualcomm jumped nearly 10% after strong results.
Digital payments giant PayPal saw shares rise 11% after decent earnings results, meanwhile, and consumer bellwether McDonalds rose roughly 3% after strong international sales boosted revenue.
Investors also digested new government data which showed the U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
“The first quarter headline GDP miss does not tell the whole story,” says Edward Moya, senior market analyst for Oanda, adding that the economy remains on “solid footing as consumer demand continues to handle surging prices.”
“If you are an investor in today’s market, you should fully expect volatility to remain elevated going forward,” says Mark Freeman, chief investment officer at Socorro Asset Management. “The market is behaving in a fairly rational manner… in every monetary tightening cycle you get multiple compressions, and that’s what’s happening now as valuations come back down somewhat,” he says. “It’s not fun and nobody enjoys it, but it shouldn’t be unexpected.”
What To Watch For:
“Today’s economic data does not change anything for the Fed and markets should continue to think they are on a clear path to raise rates rapidly over the next couple of policy meetings,” predicts Moya.