Market Update: Stocks Rise on Tech Earnings; Cryptocurrencies Stabilize Following Correction

U.S. stocks surged on Thursday after a string of tech earnings blew past expectations and economic data renewed confidence in the domestic recovery.

Stocks Surge

Thursday was a strong session for all of Wall Street’s major indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 238.51 points, or 1%, to 24,322.34. Twenty-five of 30 index members contributed to the gains.

The broader S&P 500 Index rose 1% to 2,666.94, with nine of 11 sectors advancing.

Technology shares rose more than 2% after Facebook (FB) reported a 63% increase in profits during the first quarter. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) also surged after reporting stronger than expected earnings.

A strong tech sector lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index sharply higher on Thursday. The tech-driven gauge added 1.6% to finish at 7,118.68.

In economic data, U.S. jobless claims plunged last week to their lowest levels in 48 years, a strong sign that the domestic labor market was on solid footing.

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits dropped 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 in the week ended Apr. 21, the Department of Labor said. Analysts in a median estimate called for a slight drop to 230,000.

U.S. Dollar Rallies

Strong economic data helped the U.S. dollar extend its bullish breakout to more than three-month highs. The dollar index (DXY), which is evaluated against a basket of six rival currencies, rose 0.4% to 91.59.

A stronger dollar capped a moderate recovery in the euro, which faced renewed pressure after the head of the European Central Bank struck a dovish tone on Thursday.

The dollar rose to fresh three-month highs against the euro after the European Central Bank acknowledged a “moderation” in economic growth following its policy meeting on Thursday. Officials voted to keep interest rates on hold and said they would seek more clarity before outlining their next move.

EUR/USD bottomed at 1.2108 on Thursday, its lowest since mid-January.

The greenback jumped more than 1% this week as investors tracked a significant rise in interest rates. On Monday, the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3% for the first time since early 2014.

Cryptocurrencies Stabilize

The cryptocurrency market stabilized on Thursday after profit-taking disrupted a multi-week rally in the digital asset class.

The combined value of all coins reached a high of $407.6 billion on Thursday, according to CoinMarketCap. The market would subsequently fall to $380.5 billion before recovering around $406 billion.

With the exception of bitcoin and NEO, all cryptocurrencies in the top-ten reported gains. Stellar Lumens was the biggest percentage gainer, climbing 8.5% to $0.38. Meanwhile, Ethereum, Ripple XRP and bitcoin cash were up only slightly.

Bitcoin was back to trading above $9,000 on Thursday. At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency was valued at around $9,074 a coin.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi