Stocks rallied on Thursday with the Dow leading markets higher as results from Salesforce (CRM) lifted the index, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq shook off early losses to finish in the green.
At the close on Thursday, the S&P 500 was up 0.76%, the Nasdaq higher by 0.73%, and the blue chip Dow up 1.05%.
Rates remained a key focus for investors, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note settling north of 4%, its highest level since November.
The rise in yields has come as investors brace for more aggressive action from the Federal Reserve in the coming months as inflation stays elevated and the economy remains strong.
On the front end of the Treasury curve, the yield on 2-year notes continued to trade near its highest level since 2007. The 2-year yield, which stood near 4.8% on Thursday, is seen as the best proxy for investor expectations of the Fed’s near-term path for interest rates.
In single-stock moves, shares of Salesforce rose 11.5% on Thursday as investors cheered the company’s latest quarterly report, which saw the embattled Dow member double down on cost-cutting initiatives and shareholder return plans. The stock’s opening gap higher of 16% was its largest since Aug. 2020, according to data from Bloomberg.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi late Wednesday, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in reference to the company’s efficiency initiatives: “We have hit the hyper-space button.”
The company announced in its quarterly report an increase in its share repurchase authorization to $20 billion, with COO Brian Millham telling investors on a call, “We’re inspecting every part of our business to find opportunities to drive efficiencies and reduce cost of sales, marketing, and G&A.”
Salesforce’s 11.5% jump, good for jsut over a $19 per share increase in the stock price, added roughly 110 points to the price-weighted Dow’s 340 point gain on Thursday.
Elsewhere in single-stock moves, shares of troubled bank Silvergate (SI) fell 57% on Thursday after the company delayed the filing of its annual report and said it would likely report losses larger than those previously disclosed.
The bank took on several high-profile crypto clients in recent years and has seen its share price collapse by more than 90% in the wake of the failure of FTX, among other crypto bankruptcies.
Tesla (TSLA) shares were also in focus on Thursday, falling 5.9% as the electric carmaker held its latest investor day on Wednesday, which revealed few new product details but emphasized the company’s push to unlock new efficiencies in its manufacturing and design processes.
On the economic data side, the weekly report on initial jobless claims showed 190,000 new filings for unemployment insurance were made last week, the latest sign the labor market remains robust. Though tomorrow marks the first Friday of the month, the February jobs report will not be released until March 10.
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