Wall Street shrugs off weak jobs data to end higher
A pedestrian walks past the New York Stock Exchange, New York, U.S., January 24, 2022. /CFP

A pedestrian walks past the New York Stock Exchange, New York, U.S., January 24, 2022. /CFP

U.S. equities capped a four-day winning streak by closing higher Wednesday despite weak employment figures, amid receding fears the Federal Reserve will pull out the big guns to fight inflation. 

Positive earnings reports, including from Google-parent Alphabet, boosted the tech sector. 

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 percent to finish at 35,629.33. 

The broad-based S&P 500 popped up 0.9 percent to 4,589.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.5 percent to close at 14,417.55. 

Stocks had been battered for weeks after the Fed signaled its plans to raise interest rates, but recent comments from some of its most hawkish policymakers quelled concerns borrowing costs will jump sharply in March and beyond. 

Karl Haeling of LBBW said the market was oversold and "due for a rally."  

"I do think that less hawkish commentary from the Fed officials this week have certainly helped calm some concerns. I think, in particular, the market was worried about the possibility of a 50-basis-point rate hike at the March meeting," he told AFP. 

The rally continued despite worse-than-expected data showing a decrease in hiring last month at private firms, a grim preview of the official jobs report Friday, which may show the first drop in employment in a year. 

Meanwhile, a deluge of earnings lifted Alphabet 7.5 percent as the tech giant reported annual profits of $76 billion. 

But PayPal was punished with a 25-percent slide after missing profit forecasts and offering a disappointing quarterly outlook.

Source(s): AFP

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