U.S. stocks rose sharply in a choppy session Thursday as markets continued a comeback from steep losses earlier this week.
The S&P 500 gained 2.4%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 600 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.9%, marking its best intraday rise in six weeks on the heels of stronger-than-expected earnings from Facebook company Meta (FB) that sent shares up 18%.
Investors weighed fresh data out of Washington D.C. that showed U.S. economic activity unexpectedly contracted at the start of 2022 for the first time in nearly two years as lingering supply chain imbalances, inflationary pressures, and war in Eastern Europe weighed on growth. First-quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) fell at a 1.4% annualized rate after a 6.9% pace of growth at the end of 2021.
“The latest snapshots of economic data remind us of the volatile and complicated times in which we live,” Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst Mark Hamrick said in an emailed note.
With just three trading days left in April, the typically-bullish month is on pace for its worst performance since logging a 9.0% drop in 1970, according to data from LPL Financial Research.
“The usual suspects of a slowing economy, a hawkish Federal Reserve Bank, supply chain worries, war in Europe, and now another China shutdown have all combined to make this one of the worst starts to a year ever for both stocks and bonds,” LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick said in a commentary Tuesday.
Investors are in the throes of a lackluster earnings season, with 180 companies on the docket this week for quarterly reports. Moreover, traders are digesting mixed results from high-flying mega-cap tech giants: Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) are set to round out Big Tech earnings after the closing bell on Thursday on the back of figures from Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), and Meta (FB) in recent days. The technology behemoths represent 22.2% of the S&P 500’s market capitalization.
Shares of Meta Platforms were up roughly 17% in early trading Thursday after the company reported…