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S&P 500 Turns Positive After Strong Job Gains, Amazon-Led Run Higher in Tech -Breaking


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By Yasin Ebrahim – The S&P 500 turned positive Friday, aided by a rally in Amazon and an unexpectedly strong monthly jobs report that sent U.S. Treasury yields to two-year highs.  

It rose by 1.10% and the Nasdaq added 0.34% (or 120 points), to 2.2%.

U.S. 467,000 job openings last month were well ahead of expectations. They were led by employment gains in leisure and hospitality, which defied any expectations about an omicron-impact on the service industry.

The average hourly wage increased by 0.7%, which was better than anticipated. However, the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4%.

An unexpectedly strong number isn’t likely to change the Fed’s thinking on policy but may serve to drown out  “the ‘policy mistake’ narrative in the market that bubbled up as the Fed turned more hawkish in recent months,” Jefferies said in a note.

Expectations for aggressive Fed action prompted a surge in U.S. yields, which jumped to 1.9% for only the second time in 2 years.

Tech climbed out of early-day trouble against the backdrop of rising rates as surge in Amazon restored sentiment on growth somewhat after Meta’s plunge a day earlier.

Amazon (NASDAQ) rose more than 15% after better-than expected fourth quarter earnings and guidance for fiscal year 1.

The bulk of earnings beat was led by gains from the company’s Rivian stake, but better than feared Q1 guidance and the move to hike the annual price of U.S. Prime subscriptions to offset costs also helped boost investor sentiment.

“Amazon’s profitability should expand as it grows opex more slowly than revenues. Amazon Web Services, Fulfillment by Amazon, and ads should drive steady margin expansion, with Prime memberships driving overall retail revenue growth,” Wedbush said in a note.

The move higher in the wider market was supported by other megacap stocks like Alphabet (NASDAQ;), Meta Platforms(NASDAQ:), Apple (NASDAQ :), and Meta Platformss (NASDAQ :).

Snap (NYSE:), meanwhile, jumped more than 60% following quarterly results that topped expectations,

The wild swings in markets recently, however, is expected to continue, and likely sets up rocky road for the weeks ahead until there is more certainty about the path of inflation and the Fed’s plan to tighten monetary policy.

“Volatility generally means bear markets … the fact that we’ve seen a spike in volatility doesn’t bode well for overall markets,” Darren Schuringa, CEO of ASYMmetric ETFs said in an interview with on Friday. Volatility is set to continue until  “some of these other factors, primarily the Fed and inflation, settle down.”

Portfolio positioning would be best served by companies “that are actually able to pass on price increases to preserve their margins, and are growing the top lines,”