Tech, industrial stocks lead market to gains ahead of holiday weekend

Javier Stokes
April 2, 2018

The market is coming off a two-day losing streak and is on course to end the month with a loss.

The rocky trading session saw stocks in and out of negative territory as they struggled to right themselves after tumbling in three of the last four trading days, leaving them with declines of two and four percent since Thursday.

GameStop (GME.N) shares fell 10.8 percent after the company provided disappointing full-year sales forecast. In the weeks since, the market has been more volatile and trading has frequently turned choppy.

Markets seemed preoccupied with more pressing matters but analysts said the rosy report was a double-edged sword, possibly helping encourage the central bank to tighten monetary policy. "We still look for positive trends as we now move into the second quarter, but we think the pace at which equities move will still be muted". The S&P 500 gained 11.72 points, or 0.449904 percent, to 2,616.72. The blue chip average was briefly up 465 points. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 6 points, or 0.4%, to 1,519.

"People should expect what's happening given the kind of volatility we've seen as well as the fact that we're kind of in a news vacuum prior to quarterly earnings", Chuck Carlson, chief executive at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana, said.

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But the gains could not prevent the indexes from closing the month with losses.

The group is up 14 percent so far this year, but privacy concerns in the wake of Facebook's scandal almost two weeks back has wiped $400 billion off their value.

Even with the roller-coaster ride that technology stocks have been on lately, the sector is up 3.2 percent this year, while most other sectors are in the red.

Amazon.com closed up 1.1 percent, recovering from a 4.6 percent drop after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the online retailer via Twitter early Thursday, claiming without evidence that the company pays "little to no taxes to state & local governments". The watchmaker's stock jumped $5.20, or 15.7 percent, to $38.40.

Solid results and a better-than-expected outlook also gave Movado Group shares a lift.

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