LGT Navigator

Nasdaq rally and positive weekly close on both sides of the Atlantic

Strong results from US tech giants Alphabet and Microsoft sparked a rally in the technology sector on Friday, supporting markets on both sides of the Atlantic ahead of the weekend. Traders are looking ahead to this week's Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday, after US inflation figures for March came in higher than expected on Friday.

Dominique Stutz, LGT
Reading time
5 minutes
© Shutterstock

In New York trading on Friday, strong quarterly reports from Alphabet and Microsoft on Thursday sparked a rally in the technology sector. Concerns triggered by Meta's report last Wednesday have been dispelled for the time being and investors are once again betting on the ongoing upswing in artificial intelligence (AI). The technology weighted Nasdaq 100 closed 1.7% higher at 17,718.30, up 4% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial closed 0.4% higher and the S&P 500 climbed 1% to 5099.96.

Despite Meta reporting similar news to Alphabet in its quarterly figures last week about increased investment in AI, Meta shares continued to fall on Friday, while Google parent Alphabet soared 10%. Like Alphabet, Microsoft also announced on Thursday that its investments in AI and the cloud were paying off. However, the software giant's shares were more subdued, rising 1.8%. Intel shares, on the other hand, lost a good 9% on Friday. Investors were disappointed by the processor maker's forecast for the current quarter. Among the individual stocks, there was also news from Snap, which soared 27% to its highest level since December 2023, following a strong increase in sales last quarter.

Friday's PCE price index for March, which pointed to stubborn inflation in the US, was overshadowed by the strong reporting season. This reaffirmed the old view that the Fed is unlikely to cut rates any time soon.

In the Asia-Pacific region, equity markets were broadly higher and the Japanese yen regained some ground after falling to 160 against the US dollar on Monday. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) left interest rates unchanged on Friday. Japanese stock markets are closed today for a public holiday. In South Korea, the Kospi was up 1.1%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 recovered from Friday's losses and was up 0.9%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 1.1% and the Shanghai Composite was up 0.8%.

At the Swiss National Bank's (SNB) annual shareholders meeting on Friday, President Thomas Jordan warned of risks to price stability due to global events, despite the good inflation record. Although the SNB has already started to cut interest rates, it will continue to monitor inflation closely and adjust its monetary policy if necessary. Jordan will leave the SNB in September, and his likely successor is Vice-Chairman Martin Schlegel. After three weeks of declines, the Swiss stock market stabilised on Friday and was also supported by the New York markets towards the end of trading. The SMI closed the week 0.7% higher at 11,344.32 points.

The strong results from the US technology heavyweights also provided a positive tailwind for the eurozone. The EuroStoxx 50 was up 1.4% at 5,009.85 points.

Corporate news in focus: Bank of China, Philips

Economic data in focus: European consumer confidence, European business climate index, European economic confidence, German CPI

LGT helps you make informed investment decisions

Global economic and market trends at a glance

You can also follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn – or visit Insights and discover interesting background articles. If you have questions, a consultant from the bank will be happy to help you.

Publisher: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., Glärnischstrasse 36, CH-8027 Zurich
Editor: Alessandro Fezzi
Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.

Contact us