Nasdaq jumps nearly 3% in volatile session as investors sidestep Microsoft warning and rate hike outlook

Nasdaq jumps nearly 3% in volatile session as investors sidestep Microsoft warning and rate hike outlook
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  • Stocks turned higher to log their first win in three sessions on Thursday.
  • Equities moved past Microsoft's downwardly revised Q4 guidance on revenue and earnings.

Stocks ended Thursday's session higher as investors halted a two-day slide by moving past a downbeat update from Microsoft and another view of aggressive rate hikes from a key Federal Reserve official.

The Nasdaq Composite popped up more than 2%, the strongest gain among Wall Street's major equity indexes, with Nvidia, PayPal and Okta among big gainers. On the S&P 500, all but the energy sector gained ground.

Microsoft weighed on the Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average early Thursday after the software heavyweight cut its fourth-quarter revenue and earnings guidance because of unfavorable currency exchange moves, highlighting this year's strength in the US dollar. Microsoft stock eventually recovered from losses.

The Nasdaq Composite remains in a bear market, hurt by the march up in borrowing rates that weigh on the earnings potential for tech companies. The Fed is unlikely to take a break in its current rate-hike campaign, Vice Chair Lael Brainard told CNBC.

"Right now, it's very hard to see the case for a pause," she said. "We've still got a lot of work to do to get inflation down to our 2% target."


Here's where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday:

Inflation hit a near-record high of 8.3% in April.

Ahead of Friday's US jobs report, ADP said private-sector firms added 128,000 payrolls in May. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected, on average, an increase of 300,000 private payrolls. The May amount marked the smallest gain of the pandemic recovery.

Separately, weekly unemployment claims fell by 11,000 to 200,000, with the Bloomberg estimate calling for claims of 210,000.

Around the market, oil prices turned higher as a production increase by OPEC+ countries was viewed as potentially too small to offset the absence of Russian supply, while US crude inventories declined sharply. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.3% to $116.78 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, picked up 0.3% to $117.96.


A top BlackRock hedge fund has shifted its portfolio to put more bets on falling stock prices. Meanwhile, hedge fund heavyweight Tiger Global reportedly has lost 52% this year during the slump in technology stocks.

Gemini, the crypto exchange run by the billionaire Winklevoss twins, is cutting 10% of its staff, according to Bloomberg.

Gold rose 1.3% to $1,873.50 per ounce. The 10-year yield fell 1 basis point to 2.916%. Bitcoin gained 1.5% to $30,098.12.