Technology shares rally following high-profile earnings reports.
U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Friday after some of the world’s largest technology companies posted better than expected quarterly results.
The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks gained 0.8% to 3,271.12. Gains were mainly concentrated in information technology and consumer discretionary shares. Gains in these sectors offset sharp declines in energy, healthcare and industrials companies.
Surging tech shares propelled the Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) back toward record highs. The tech-heavy average rallied 1.5% to 10,745.27.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) reversed losses, closing up 115.41 points, or 0.4%, to 26,429.06.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VXX), commonly known as the VIX, traded within a narrow range on Friday. The so-called “investors fear index” reached an intraday low of 23.55 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. It would eventually settle down 3% at 24.02.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) posted better than expected sales during the second quarter, a sign that big-tech companies were weathering the coronavirus pandemic.
Information technology is faring much better than the commodities sector, which is reeling due to global lockdowns. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) posted steep losses in the second quarter as demand for oil fell sharply.
The Final Word: The U.S. economy is coming off its worst quarter in history. Although conditions have improved in the third quarter, a resurgence in Covid-19 cases is undermining the recovery. There are more than 4.5 million cases in the United States as of Friday.