Dow has best day since Jan 6 after Apple rally, jobs data

NEW YORK – US stocks rallied on Friday, with the Dow posting its biggest one-day percentage gain since Jan. 6, as shares of Apple surged more than 4 per cent after upbeat results and US jobs data pointed to a resilient labor market.

Adding to the bullish momentum, regional bank shares rebounded from declines tied to the collapse of First Republic Bank. Analysts upgraded a number of lenders they said were oversold.

PacWest Bancorp rallied 81.7 per cent and Western Alliance Bancorp jumped 49.2 per cent, while the KBW regional bank index advanced 4.7 per cent.

Apple’s quarterly results also cheered investors worried about a potential recession. The iPhone maker’s shares hit their highest level in about nine months, and the stock ended up 4.7 per cent in its biggest daily percentage gain since November.

The stock was the biggest positive influence on all three major US stock indexes.

The US Labor Department report showed job growth accelerated in April and wage gains increased solidly, suggesting the labor market has stayed strong despite recent interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

With the jobs report, “it’s about the state of the US economy, and what we saw today suggests it’s in a better position than previously expected,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market Strategist at Invesco in New York.

Investors have been worried that the rate hikes may eventually push the economy into recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 546.64 points, or 1.65 per cent, to 33,674.38, the S&P 500 gained 75.03 points, or 1.85 per cent, to 4,136.25 and the Nasdaq Composite added 269.02 points, or 2.25 per cent, to 12,235.41.

The Cboe Volatility index registered its biggest one-day decline since March 16.

The Dow and S&P 500 still registered losses for the week, however, while the Nasdaq ended with a slight gain for the week.

On Wednesday, the US central bank raised rates by 25 basis points as expected, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted it was too early to say with certainty that the rate-hike cycle was over as inflation remains the chief concern.

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