A blowout jobs report and strong earnings from Amazon gave investors much-needed good news
Stocks moved tentatively higher in morning trading Friday, a day after an earnings-fueled rout slashed hundreds of billions of dollars in value off some of the biggest names in tech.
New jobs data showed the economy added roughly 467,000 positions in January, obliterating expectations even as the omicron wave cast a pall over business activity. It relieved some uncertainty regarding the health of the recovery but did little to sway moods on Wall Street as investors continued to focus on earnings.
Amazon’s shares were up nearly 10 percent after it reported record fourth quarter revenue of more than $137 billion and said it was raising the price of its signature Prime membership. The e-commerce giant’s performance ushered investors back into the tech sector after the Nasdaq’s dismal 3.7 percent fall Thursday, lifting the tech-centric index 0.8 percent in morning trading. Still, the Nasdaq remains down more than 11 percent year-to-date, according to MarketWatch.
Around 9:45, after opening 150 points lower, the Dow Jones industrial average was virtually flat. The S&P 500 index climbed 0.4 percent.
“A better-than-expected jobs report only fuels the Fed’s fire to raise rates, and act quickly,” Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade, said Friday in comments emailed to The Post. “While they’ve already signaled that the labor market is in a good place, there was potential for Omicron to derail that progress — and that just doesn’t seem to be the case. So with the market typically unwelcoming of news that could accelerate the pace of action from the Fed, we could see some volatility.”
Earnings reports continue to be “outsized market movers,” according to Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer at Tigress Financial Partner, with earnings beats from Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft lifting sentiments and disappointing performances driving massive sell-offs. After delivering weak results Thursday, Meta shares shed more than $230 billion in value — the biggest-ever one day decline for a stock in U.S. history — and spurred a steep sell-off that engulfed other social media giants, including Pinterest, Snap and Twitter.
“Disappointing results from multiple stocks also further weigh on the market as we go through a hawkish monetary policy-driven repricing of value,” Feinseth noted Friday in comments emailed to The Post. Despite recent volatility, “positive reactions to good news continue to highlight buying interest,” Feinseth said.
Companies that were pummeled Thursday saw gains Friday as investors snapped up big names at lower prices. Snap exploded 49 percent, Pinterest jumped 7 percent, and Twitter climbed 4 percent.