Stocks end sharply higher, lifted by Meta, Apple

STORY: Wall Street rallied on Thursday as strong results from Facebook parent Meta Platforms lifted a beaten-down tech sector and offset worries about the U.S. economy's first quarterly contraction in nearly two years.

Meta shares ended 17.59% higher, after the social network reported a larger-than-expected profit and rebounded from a drop in users.

That helped the overall market.

The Dow ended up almost 2% and the S&P 500 finished up nearly 2.5%, while the Nasdaq posted a whopping 3% gain.

Loreen Gilbert is CEO of WealthWise Financial.

"The market is up today and rebounding from some of the lows that we've been experiencing in the markets and some of the volatility. And part of the reason is we're hearing from technology companies this week on earnings and some of those numbers have been strong. So, with that, the market is responding very positively to the outlook for technology.”

Underscoring that positive trend was Apple, which rose 4.52% in regular trading.

After the close, Apple, the world's most valuable company, posted record quarterly sales and profit that beat Wall Street estimates as it managed chip shortages and consumers snapped up new iPhones.

But e-commerce giant Amazon – which also rallied in the regular session – late Thursday forecast current-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates, amid customers hitting pause on discretionary spending in the face of economic uncertainties.

Meanwhile, a report from the U.S. Commerce Department showed the economy unexpectedly shrank last quarter, mostly driven by a wider trade deficit and a slowdown in business inventories.

It was the first decline in GDP since the short and sharp recession that was induced by the global health crisis in 2020.

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