All three major U.S. stock indexes on Wall Street finished broadly higher on Thursday, recovering some of their steep losses from the previous session, as technology stocks rallied ahead of major earnings reports and upbeat domestic economic data.
The rebound came after a more than +3% slide a day earlier in Wall Street’s main indexes, underscoring heightened market volatility ahead of the presidential election next week and growing fears of another COVID-19 slowdown.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden holds a comfortable lead over President Donald Trump in national polls, but the race in battleground states that will likely decide the election are tighter than the national surveys.
Meanwhile, the number of first-time unemployment-benefits filers declined for a second straight week and hit its lowest level since March.
Initial weekly U.S. jobless claims came in at 751,000 for the week ending Oct. 24, better than the forecast estimate of 778,000.
At the finishing bell, on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed +39.08 points or +1.19% to 3,310.11, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed +139.16 points higher, or +0.52%, at 26,659.11.
Meanwhile, the rich-tech Nasdaq Composite advanced +180.72 points, or +1.64% to 11,185.59.
Shares of Amazon and Apple rose +1.5% and +3.7%, respectively, while Alphabet closed +3.1% higher and Facebook popped nearly +5%.
However, after the bell, those gains reversed with Apple shares falling more than -4% in extended trading after the tech giant reported a 16% decline in iPhone sales and failed to offer investors any guidance for the quarter ahead.
Amazon dipped -1.5% even after the e-commerce giant reported blowout third-quarter results with a big beat on the top line.
Shares of Alphabet soared more than +7% in extended trading after the Google parent company posted quarterly results that topped Wall Street expectations.
Meanwhile, Twitter dropped more than +14% after the social media company reported user growth that fell short of expectations.
Volatility remained elevated as investors remain uneasy with the rising cases of the COVIS-19 in the U.S. and abroad.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), also known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” touched a high of 41.2 Thursday, its highest level since June 15.
In more uplifting news, Moderna Inc rose +8.4% after the company said it was on track to report early data from a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine next month, offering the clearest timeline yet for when the world will know whether it is effective, after already taking in $1.1 billion in deposits from governments, the company said Thursday.