Wall Street saw a sharp rebound on Friday after Apple reported better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter, and the U.S. added 253,000 jobs in April, according to the Labor Department.
The S&P 500 closed up 1.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 546.64 points, or 1.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 2.2%. The upbeat jobs report helped ease recession fears among investors and sparked a stock rally.
Apple, the largest U.S. company by market value, reported earnings exceeding analyst expectations after Thursday's closing bell. The company's shares rallied 4.7%, which helped to snap the S&P 500's four-day losing streak. This strong performance also boosted other technology stocks, such as Amazon and Google, which saw 2.2% and 2.6% gains, respectively.
Meanwhile, bond yields rose following the release of the payrolls report. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, matching the lowest reading since 1969, while job growth figures for February and March were revised lower. The report showed that the U.S. economy added jobs robustly, exceeding economists' forecasts of 180,000 new jobs.
"The payrolls number does justify a bit of a rally," said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers. "If it doesn't take recession off the table, it certainly pushes it back."
However, the week was not without its challenges. Regional bank stocks suffered a significant selloff earlier in the week as investors continued to hunt for weak links after several banks collapsed. Bankers and government officials hoped that the sale of First Republic Bank on Monday would draw a line under turmoil, but this did not stop investors from dumping shares of midsize and smaller banks for much of the week.
Shares of PacWest and Western Alliance, the latest regional lenders under pressure, regained some ground, closing more than 49% higher on Friday. Zions Bancorp was the best performer in the S&P 500, adding 19%.
The extreme volatility in regional bank stocks sparked worries about financial contagion. During his press conference on Wednesday, the Fed chair Jerome Powell also did not rule out future rate increases to fight inflation after the Fed again raised its policy rate by a quarter-percentage point. The Fed is widely expected to pause its rate increases at its next meeting. Investors have become increasingly unsettled about the impact of rapid rate hikes on the banking system.
"This is just one data point, and a heavily revised one at that, that will aggregate into a larger picture by the time the next Fed meeting rolls around," said Jason Pride, chief of investment strategy and research at Glenmede.
Despite the challenges, several companies posted strong earnings results on Thursday and Friday, including online used-car seller Carvana, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, and sports-betting platform DraftKings, all surged after posting results. Concert promoter and operator Live Nation Entertainment rallied 15% after telling investors its higher-than-expected first-quarter revenue reflected "incredible" demand for live concerts.
Conversely, Lyft sank 19% after the ride-hailing company offered a weaker-than-expected revenue forecast. Lyft shares are down by more than half over the past year.
The jobs report helped push the price of benchmark U.S. crude following a three-week selloff driven by a gloomy economic outlook. WTI crude oil was up 3.9%.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.3% in overseas markets for the week. The Japanese Nikkei index rose 1% this week, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3%.
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