S&P 500 in Rally as Bank Earnings Delight, Bulls Dip Into Chips

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Investing.com – The S&P 500 jumped Thursday on a semiconductor-led surge in tech and slew of blowout quarterly earnings from major Wall Street banks.

The S&P 500 rose 1.7%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.6%, or 534 points, the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.7%.

Tech stocks were pushed higher by a rally in semiconductor stocks following upbeat quarterly earnings and guidance from chip bellwether Taiwan Semiconductor.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE:TSM) reported better-than-expected third-quarter results, and talked up surging demand for its products and services after guiding Q4 revenue above estimates.

Sentiment on semis were also boosted by a report from DigiTimes suggesting that component suppliers for Apple’s new iPhones haven’t seen a decline in orders so far this year.

This marks a contrast from a Bloomberg report earlier this week indicating the Apple could cut its iPhone production targets for 2021.

Other chip stocks including NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) and ASML (NASDAQ:ASML) were up more than 3%, pushing the iShares Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:SOXX) up nearly 3%.

As well as a boost from semis, tech was supported by a fall in Treasury yields as the 10-year yields retreated further into the red to remain below 1.6%.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) were in the green.

Financials basked in the glory of blowout quarterly results from major Wall Street banks.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) , Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) all reported a beat on both the top and bottom lines.

Bank of America led the pack, up more than 4% after reporting record advisory and asset management fees for Q3.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), meanwhile, a major Dow Jones component, reported better-than-expected quarterly results, driven by a jump in revenue at its Optum drug benefits division.  Its shares were up more than 4%.

In other news, Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN) jumped 5% as cryptocurrencies rallied. The cryptocurrency exchanged also unveiled a proposal urging Congress to pass legislation to create new regulator to govern crypto exchanges.

Under the proposal, the regulator would have the authority to approve any cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin and ether for listing or trading in the U.S.

Sentiment on the broader market was also helped by data showing easing inflation pressures, and jobless claims that fell below 300,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.  

Jobless claims fell by 36,000 to 293,000 for the week ended October 9, below economists; forecast  for a fall to 320,000.

The September PPI rose 0.5%, slower than the 0.6% rise expected, but Pantheon Macroeconomics said it is “too soon to know if this marks the end of the surge in prices triggered by the chip shortage.”

Stocks have endured a rocky week, and some on Wall Street are expecting the choppy action to continue. 

“Overall, we continue to expect a choppy trading environment here in the U.S. over the short-run, as earnings season ramps up and macro factors such as monetary policy, supply constraints, and energy price inflation dominate the headlines,” said Dan Wantrobski, associate director of research at Janney Montgomery.