S&P 500 and Nasdaq rise as Meta leads rally in tech stocks

The S&P 500 rose on Thursday as better-than-expected Meta results further boosted sentiment around technology stocks, which led the market to decline last year.

The gains come ahead of a trio of after-the-bell Big Tech results at Apple, Amazon and Alphabet.

The broader market index jumped 0.9 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained nearly 2 percent. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 20 points, or about 0.1%.

The Meta jumped more than 19% after reporting a fourth quarter revenue win and announcing a A $40 billion share buyback. This helped investors look to the past lost in the business unit that oversees the metaverse.

Other mega-cap tech stocks rose on the back of those results. Shares of Google Alphabet rose more than 4 percent, while Amazon jumped more than 3 percent. Apple shares rose more than 1%.

Technology stocks outperformed in 2023, buoyed by recent signs of cooling inflation, which investors expect to signal a pause by the Federal Reserve in its aggressive rate hike campaign. The S&P 500 information technology sector is up more than 11% this year after falling more than 28% last year.

Shares were trading higher on Wednesday after the Fed announced a Interest rate increase of 0.25 percentage points. Although the central bank gave no indication of an imminent pause in interest rate hikes, investors were encouraged by the smaller increase and comments by Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledging easing inflation.

Traders await the latest jobs report on Friday, which will provide further insight into the labor market. Any signs of cooling could signal to investors that further interest rate hikes are out of the question.

Investors will be watching Thursday for earnings reports from big names including An apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Ford Motor and Starbucks.

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