U.S. stocks rally supported by Apple momentum


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Stocks rose on Friday, supported by better-than-expected results from Apple, although sentiment remained mixed ahead of key nonfarm payrolls data.

Apple rises on earnings and share buybacks

Apple (AAPL) rose 6% in pre-market trading after the company released results that exceeded prior expectations.

The drop in revenue and profit was less severe than anticipated, even though iPhone sales revenue fell short of estimates. This occurred in a context of weakening demand and increasing competition across all markets, especially in China.

However, Apple’s service revenue exceeded estimates, and the company believes that its revenue will increase again in the June quarter.

Apple shares were boosted by a record $110 billion share buyback, and the company increased its dividend payout.

Wall Street’s major indexes reported gains on Thursday, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and NASDAQ Composite rising 0.9% and about 1.5% respectively.

Despite this, all three indices traded lower for much of the week as a result of fears of an extended period of interest rate hikes.

The next challenge : non-farm payrolls

Investor sentiment remained on edge as the market awaited key nonfarm payrolls data due later in the session.

The data, expected to influence the Fed’s interest rate decisions, follows a recent Fed meeting where the bank indicated that rates will remain unchanged due to persistent inflation.

Continued strength in the labor market supports keeping rates high, though the Fed has stated it will not increase rates further.

Friday’s nonfarm payrolls data comes after the figures have missed expectations for five consecutive months.

Block shoots up in Q1; Cloudflare fall

Block (SQ) was another top performer on Friday, as the payments firm jumped 7% before the session started, driven by its better-than-expected first-quarter earnings. The company also announced its ongoing investments in Bitcoin.

Cybersecurity company Cloudflare (NET) retreated 13% as its weak forecast overshadowed its strong quarterly earnings.

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