Big technology companies rallied on Friday. As a result, stocks soared after Thursday’s lows, abating concerns over a bumpy economic rebound. Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., and Alphabet Inc. surged forward in extended trading as results surpassed Wall Street estimates.
Futures on the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 jumped after the close of regular trading. Earlier on Thursday, equities collapsed as data showed that the U.S. economy had its sharpest contraction on record. Furthermore, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased. President Donald Trump also suggested delaying the Nov. 3 election until after the pandemic eases.
Meanwhile, the United Parcel Service Inc. skyrocketed to a record high on results that surpassed past estimates with flying colors. Qualcomm Inc. also rallied on a strong sales forecast. Procter & Gamble Co.’s sales increased amid high demand for detergent.
Giant tech companies have fared better during the pandemic-induced recession due to solid balance sheets, along with a suite of products that benefit from social distancing. It seems the Nasdaq 100 will beat the S&P 500 for a 10th consecutive month. However, with much of the good news already priced into stock markets, investors are looking for catalysts that could sustain further momentum in equities.
Tom Garretson, the senior portfolio strategist for RBC Wealth Management, stated that the markets are in that uncertain time between the hopeful third-quarter rebound and some worry about the reopening process and what the recovery looks like. Thus everyone is waiting for things to play out.
How are the major indexes faring now?
The S&P 500 declined by 0.4% on Friday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index also lost 2.2%, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped by 0.1%.
Traders digested economic figures that highlighted the massive devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some numbers have improved after the reopenings, but the recent surge of infections shows that the recovery will most likely take time.
On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated that there are signs that the increase in cases is starting to weigh on activity. He added that the path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain.