US stocks trade mixed but Nasdaq surges ahead of fresh mega-cap tech earnings

  • US stocks closed mixed Thursday. Tech stocks added to early gains. 
  • The Nasdaq Composite surged more than 2% as markets cheered the Fed’s toned-down rate hike. 
  • Investors were bracing for earnings from Alphabet, Amazon and Apple after the closing bell. 

US stocks ended mixed on Thursday, as investors turned their focus to a handful of key earnings reports due from mega-cap tech firms after the closing bell.

The Nasdaq Composite added to gains earlier in the session, and ended the day higher by more than 3%. Tech stocks climbed since Wednesday when comments from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell that were heard by Wall Street as a sign that that central bank is getting ready to end its rate-hiking campaign. 

Tech giants including Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon and Apple were set to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell. 

But investors were hit with more data on Thursday that highlighted just how difficult the path ahead remains for the central bank. Weekly jobless claims plummeted to a nine-month low last week, and the labor market is showing frustrating signs of strength for Fed officials hoping that the last year of rate hikes would be enough to cool the economy. 

Jerome Powell’s Wednesday comments urged markets to reconsider hopes of declaring victory in the battle against inflation, and labeled any such notion as “premature.” Elsewhere, the European Central Bank raised benchmark rates by 50-basis points, while the Bank of England followed suit with an additional 50 points. 

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:30 p.m. closing bell on Thursday:   

Here’s what else is going on: 

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: