April 19, 2024
Stock Market Today: Asian shares mostly rise after Wall Street gains led by tech stocks

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares rose Friday on optimism about technology stocks after Wall Street’s rally was led by big tech stocks.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to 36,158.02. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.5% to 7,699.40. South Korea’s Kospi rose 2.7% to 2,610.49 after the country reported strong export data.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4% to 15,498.71, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 2.4% to 2,705.46.

On Wall Street, US stocks bounced back in a broad rally after their worst day since September.

The S&P 500 gained 1.2%, recouping three-quarters of its losses from a day earlier and closing at 4,906.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% to 38,519.84, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.3% to 15,361.64.

Microsoft climbed 1.6% a day after falling 2.7%. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, added 0.8% after falling 7.5% on Wednesday.

Big Tech stocks are Wall Street’s most influential because they are the biggest, and they face high expectations after rising much more than the rest of the market last year. Amazon, Apple and Meta Platform reported their latest results after the close of trading on Thursday and faced similar pressure to deliver big numbers to justify their higher performance.

Facebook and Instagram owner Meta Platform jumped after meeting analysts’ expectations for profit and revenue and saying it would start paying dividends to its shareholders.

Stocks got a broad boost after several reports suggested the economy remains strong, while inflationary pressures may be easing. Such data could give the Federal Reserve more evidence about a slowdown in inflation before it would cut the interest rates that investors want. A day earlier, stocks fell sharply after the Fed chairman warned that he did not have enough evidence that

Merck climbed 4.6% after the pharmaceutical giant delivered stronger profit and revenue than analysts expected in the latest quarter. Etsy jumped 9.1% after adding a partner from Elliott Investment Management to its board.

At the end of Wall Street’s losses, New York Community Bancorp fell 11.1% after falling 37.7% a day earlier, when it reported a loss for its latest quarter and cut its dividend to build its financial strength. The surprise report sent shares of other regional banks plunging, evoking uncomfortable memories of last year’s banking crisis that led to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and others.

New York Community Bancorp acquired a majority stake in Signature, and analysts say much of its struggles are related to that. But its losses tied to commercial real estate are a reminder of the challenges the entire industry faces. The KBW Nasdaq Regional Bank Index fell 2.3%, following Wednesday’s 6% decline.

Peloton Interactive fell 24.3% after delivering an upcoming revenue forecast that fell short of analysts’ expectations. This was despite broadly matching forecasts for the latest quarter.

It sank after a report showed slightly more workers than expected applied for unemployment benefits last week.

Data released this morning showed the U.S. manufacturing industry is improving after struggling for more than a year under the burden of higher interest rates, according to the Institute for Supply Management. An increase in new orders is helping to boost the industry, but it is potentially worrying that raw material prices rose in January after eight months of decline.

Traders are increasingly betting that the Federal Reserve will begin cutting interest rates in May, after pushing back March expectations. Whenever it starts, it will mark a sharp turnaround after the Fed raised its key interest rate to the highest level since 2001 in hopes of getting inflation under control.

High interest rates intentionally slow the economy, and they reduce prices for investments.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 27 cents to $74.09 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 31 cents to $79.01 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar was little changed at 146.45 JPY, up from 146.43 yen. The euro rose from $1.0874 to $1.0883.

Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press

Source: ca.finance.yahoo.com

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