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.
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.
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.
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