- The S&P 500 gained 1.1% on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, following a surprisingly strong jobs report and impressive earnings results from Meta and Amazon.
- Shares of Meta skyrocketed after the Facebook parent reported better-than-expected earnings and declared its first-ever dividend.
- Charter Communications shares plunged after the cable company disclosed a decline in broadband internet subscribers.
U.S. equities indexes climbed higher on Friday as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed the labor market added 353,000 jobs in January, nearly doubling economists’ forecasts. Several tech giants also exceeded expectations with earnings results released Thursday afternoon, bolstering the markets and underpinning outperformance by the communication services sector.
The S&P 500 advanced 1.1% to another record closing high, while the Dow recovered from a slow start to the trading day to end Friday’s session 0.4% higher. Receiving a boost from solid tech earnings, the Nasdaq gained 1.7%. All three indexes were in positive territory for the week.
Shares of Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META) topped the S&P 500, skyrocketing 20.3% after the social media giant exceeded fourth-quarter earnings estimates. The company also declared a dividend for the first time in its history and authorized an additional $50 billion worth of share repurchases.
Edwards Lifesciences (EW) shares jumped 9.4% after the medical device maker received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Evoque valve replacement system. Edwards’ product is the first transcatheter therapy to be cleared by the FDA for the treatment of tricuspid regurgitation (TR), a type of heart disease.
Amazon (AMZN) shares popped 7.9% higher after the company reported strong earnings results for the fourth quarter. The e-commerce juggernaut highlighted that it topped its record for items sold during the holiday season in 2023 as customers took advantage of low prices and quick delivery times. The company also posted higher revenue from advertising and its AWS cloud division.
Charter Communications (CHTR) did not fare as well with its quarterly results. Shares of the cable company plunged 16.5%, making it the weakest stock on the S&P 500, after fourth-quarter earnings fell shy of expectations. Charter also reported an unexpected decline in broadband internet subscribers, with most of the losses coming from residential customers.
Gen Digital (GEN), owner of cybersecurity and identity protection products Norton and LifeLock, also reported weaker-than-expected quarterly profits and revenues while forecasting below-consensus results for the current quarter. Its shares tumbled 11.3%