Market Update 05/01/23

Chris Koruth John

Markets gained between April 25 and May 1 as investors remained optimistic about the banking crisis following the sale of First Republic Bank to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Markets retracted on Tuesday following a slew of lackluster earnings from technology sector stocks and financial sector stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.0%, the S&P 500 lost 1.6% and the Nasdaq composite lost 2.0%.

The materials select sector and the technology select sector were the biggest losers on Tuesday, declining 2.2% and 2.1%, respectively.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s Volatility Index rose 11.1% to $18.76. The index is utilized by institutional traders as a gauge for investor sentiment. Values below $20 represent strong investor confidence despite macroeconomic concerns.

Shares of First Republic Bank plunged to a nine-month low following a disappointing first-quarter earnings report. The financial institution reported a 40.0% decline in deposits to a value of $104.5 billion. By Tuesday’s close, shares of the regional bank were down 49.4%.

The three major indexes closed mixed on Wednesday due to fear surrounding the security of regional banks. The Dow fell 0.7%, the S&P 500 fell 0.4% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.5%. The volatility index increased 0.1% to $18.84.

The industrials select sector and the health care select sector were Wednesday’s largest gainers, rising 1.9% and 1.4%, respectively.

Microsoft Corp. reported first-quarter earnings of $2.45, beating consensus by 10.4%. Revenues for the first quarter of this fiscal year were $52.8 billion, which exceeded Wall Street’s expectations by 3.78%.

By Thursday’s close, the Dow increased 1.6%, the S&P 500 increased 2.0% and the Nasdaq increased 2.4%. Strong earnings from large market-cap technology boosted the major indexes. The volatility index retracted 9.6% to $17.73.

Meta Platforms Inc. reported first-quarter earnings of $2.20 per share, surpassing expectations by 34.7%. First-quarter revenues for the technology company’s current fiscal year were $28.7 billion, which beat consensus by 4.2%.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that jobless claims declined by 16,000, reaching 230,000 for the week that ended on April 22. The reported jobless claims beat consensus estimates of 249,000.

The U.S. Department of Commerce revealed that the United States’ gross domestic quarter grew at 1.1% for the first quarter of the current fiscal year compared to 2.6% from the last quarter of the previous year.

Markets closed in the green on Friday due to strong earnings from large technology firms and energy firms. The Dow rose 0.8%, the S&P 500 rose 0.8% and the Nasdaq rose 0.7%. The energy select sector and the financials select sector advanced 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively.

The major indexes slightly cooled on Monday after regulators facilitated the sale of First Republic Bank to JPMorgan. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all lost 0.1%.

Investors should remain vigilant in light of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hike on May 3. Blue chip stocks trading at a discount will make a robust investment at this time.