Tech bounce leads Wall Street higher after two-day tumble

12 Oct, 2018

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(Reuters) – Wall Street rose on Friday following its worst two-day slide in eight months as technology and other high-growth stocks led a fight back, while early gains from strong earnings of the biggest U.S. lenders, including JPMorgan, faded.

Netflix (NFLX.O), Amazon (AMZN.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) — some of the names that took a hit from an erratic selloff this week — rose between 1.7 percent and 4.05 percent, setting the Nasdaq for its best day since Aug. 2.

The S&P 500 technology index .SPLRCT rose 1.77 percent, providing the biggest boost the S&P 500 .SPX.

“The past few days were a bit of a wake-up call, but it also created an opportunity for those who have been missing out to buy some of these high-growth technology names,” said Jason Browne, chief investment strategist at FundX Investment Group in San Francisco.

However, financial stocks got little boost after JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) reversed early gains to trade down 0.6 percent despite reporting a better-than-expected third-quarter profit.

Wells Fargo (WFC.N) climbed 0.9 percent and Citigroup (C.N) was up 1.7 percent after reporting upbeat results.

“Earnings really isn’t the catalyst here, it was just an over sold market. At least for a short-term situation, it gave investors a chance to buy,” Browne said.

The bank results launch a quarterly reporting season that will give the clearest picture yet of the impact on profits from President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

Earnings at S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 21.5 percent in the third quarter, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv, a slowdown from the previous two quarters.

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At 12:27 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 61.74 points, or 0.25 percent, at 25,114.57, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 16.09 points, or 0.59 percent, at 2,744.46 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 88.55 points, or 1.21 percent, at 7,417.61.

The other major gainers were the consumer discretionary .SPLRCD and communication services .SPLRCL sectors, which rose 1.26 percent and 1.00 percent, respectively.

The two sectors, along with tech, house the high-growth FAANG group. Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Netflix (NFLX.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) were higher. Facebook (FB.O), however, gave up early gains to trade 0.7 percent lower.

Citigroup recommended buying Netflix’s shares, saying the recent sell-off was overdone. The stock’s 9.7 percent slide in the past two days is the most among the FAANGs.

However, Philip Morris (PM.N) fell 1.1 percent and Altria (MO.N) dropped 1.9 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reasserted its previous focus on reducing nicotine in cigarettes, in a presentation.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.22-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.55-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and 37 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded eight new highs and 152 new lows.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Shounak Dasgupta

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