The stock market rally gained momentum, as Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) broke out to record highs. Apple (AAPL) and many growth names reclaimed their 50-day moving averages. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 hit fresh record highs while the Nasdaq closed in on all-time levels.
Nasdaq A Full Member Of Stock Market Rally
The Nasdaq continued its strong start to April, pushing toward record highs after a long stretch of underperformance. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones also set record highs. Facebook, Microsoft and Google broke out while many highly valued growth names flashed at least early buy signals. Apple and Amazon.com (AMZN) also began waking up. Some economic recovery and reopening plays took a breather.
Fed’s Powell Wants Jobs Boom
Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell said Thursday that it will take a “string” of jobs reports like March’s 916,000 gain to “really begin to show progress to our goals.” That confirms there will be no hints that policymakers are thinking about tapering asset purchases in the next monetary policy update on April 27. But the Fed might broach its plan for an eventual, gradual taper at the June 16 or July 28 meetings.
Initial claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose to 744,000 in the week of April 3, the second straight increase after falling to 658,000, lowest since the Covid shutdown in March 2020. The data points to some risk that April’s jobs report, which is based on midmonth surveys, could prove less robust.
Yet other employment and economic indicators suggest lots of cause for optimism. The Institute for Supply Management’s service-sector activity index surged 8.4 points to 63.7 in March. That indicates the sharpest growth in the index’s history back to 1997. Meanwhile, the Labor Department’s report on labor market turnover showed job openings rose to a two-year high of 7.37 million in February. The layoff rate remains muted, matching the pre-Covid rate in February 2020.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index rose one point to 56.4 in April, after jumping 3.5 points in March. It was the fourth straight monthly gain and the highest reading since early February 2020.
GameStop Plans Stock Sale, New Chairman
GameStop (GME) said it could raise up to $1 billion in a stock sale to help finance its digital transformation and strengthen its balance sheet. The mall-based video game retailer said that sales through April 4 climbed 11% year-over-year with a 5.8% increase in February and an 18% jump in March. GameStop plans to make Ryan Cohen, the Chewy.com (CHWY) founder who has pushed for a digital transformation, as its chairman. Shares fell sharply, but are far above levels from before this year’s amazing Reddit-fueled surge.
Cruise Bookings Soar, But When Will CDC Give OK?
Carnival (CCL) said it lost $2 billion during the first quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic keeps travel and vacations muted. But the cruise line…
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