U.S. Stocks Move Sharply Higher, Led By Tech Sector Rebound

Stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Thursday, regaining ground following the weakness seen to start the holiday-shortened week. The major averages all showed strong moves to the upside, with the Nasdaq leading the way higher.

The major averages moved roughly sideways going into the close, holding on to strong gains. The Nasdaq spiked 264.80 points or 2.6 percent to 10,478.09, the S&P 500 surged 66.06 points or 1.8 percent to 3,849.28 and the Dow jumped 345.09 points or 1.1 percent to 33,220.80.

The rally on Wall Street partly reflected bargain hunting, particularly among tech stocks, which moved sharply lower over the two preceding sessions.

The standout gain by the Nasdaq came after the tech-heavy index ended Wednesday’s trading at its lowest closing level in over two years.

Overall trading activity remained subdued amid the holidays, however, with below average volume potentially exaggerating the recent moves.

Following the long Christmas weekend, the markets are set for another break this weekend due to New Year’s Day.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by slightly more than expected in the week ended December 24th.

The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 225,000, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 216,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 222,000.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average edged down to 221,000, a decrease of 250 from the previous week’s revised average of 221,250.

Sector News

Semiconductor stocks showed a substantial rebound on the day, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index spiking by 3.3 percent after ending Wednesday’s trading at its lowest closing level in well over a month.

Software, networking and computer hardware stocks also saw strength, contributing to the surge by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Significant strength was also visible among stocks, as reflected by the 3.0 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. The index rebounded after ending the preceding session at a three-month closing low.

Oil service, biotechnology and housing stocks also showed strong moves to the upside, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index jumped by 1.0 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries regained ground after moving notably lower in recent sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, slid 5.2 basis points to 3.835 percent.

Looking Ahead

With Friday marking the final trading day of 2022, activity may pick up somewhat but is likely to remain relatively subdued.

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