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Nasdaq regains ground after choppy week driven by big tech earnings


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A ‘Wall St’ sign is seen above two ‘One Way’ signs in New York August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

By David French and Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) – Another bumpy ride on Wall Street ended on Friday as Amazon’s positive earnings capped a run of mixed big-tech numbers, with the Nasdaq recovering much of its losses from the previous session and all three benchmarks ending the week in positive territory.

Results from megacap growth stocks have dictated market moves this week, as investors seek out tangible data to support sky-high valuations.

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) jumped 13.5% after reporting robust earnings in the holiday quarter. The gain expanded its market capitalization by around $190 billion, the largest ever single-day increase in value of a U.S. company.

This came a day after Facebook-owner Meta Platforms Inc’s disappointing results shook markets and wiped more than $200 billion off its valuation, the deepest loss of stock market value in history by a U.S. company.

“These are eye-watering, stomach churning moves normally associated with penny stocks, and yet they are happening in companies with billion-dollar market caps,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Despite the earnings-driven whiplash in technology stocks, all three major stock indexes ended their first week of February higher, with the indexes posting their second week of gains in a row.

While Meta lost another 0.3% on Friday, other social media companies which had been dragged down with the Facebook (NASDAQ:) owner rebounded strongly as they posted estimate-beating earnings of their own.

Among them was Snap Inc (NYSE:), surging 58.8% after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter user growth and outlook.

Pinterest (NYSE:) Inc also jumped 11.2% after its quarterly revenue beat estimates as retailers splurged on advertising during the holiday quarter.

The fell 21.42 points, or 0.06%, to 35,089.74, the gained 23.09 points, or 0.52%, to 4,500.53 and the added 219.19 points, or 1.58%, to 14,098.01.

Among the major S&P 500 sectors which advanced, energy stocks hit their highest since 2018 as crude prices touched a seven-year peak. [O/R]

Hess Corp (NYSE:) was the largest gainer in the sector, jumping 4% to its highest close since September 2014. Occidental Petroleum Corp (NYSE:) gained 2%, with its shares ending at levels last seen in February 2020.

Consumer discretionary was the leading sector though, up 3.7% as it was bolstered by Amazon’s performance. The tech behemoth’s gains helped alleviate the drag of Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co, which slumped 9.7% after the automaker posted disappointing quarterly numbers.

The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 467,000 jobs last month, compared with the 150,000 jobs addition forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

The data for December was revised higher to show 510,000 jobs created, instead of the…


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