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Market rebounds behind tech stocks, ending a losing quarter

A street vendor sells replicas of the Wall Street Bull statue outside the New York Stock Exchange on March 26.
A street vendor sells replicas of the Wall Street Bull statue outside the New York Stock Exchange on March 26.
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

U.S. stocks jumped, with technology shares leading the way, as equity markets ended a tumultuous quarter on a high note.

The S&P 500 index closed up 35.87 points, or 1.4%, to 2,640.87. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 254.69 points, or 1.1%, to 24,103.11. The Nasdaq added 114.22 points, or 1.6%, to 7,063.44.

Gains were led by energy companies and chipmakers. They were helped by a recovery in Amazon.com after a White House spokeswoman said President Trump isn’t planning to take action against the company after he accused it of not paying taxes.

Stock trading volumes were subdued ahead of a long weekend. The S&P 500 closed the first three months of the year down 1.2%, marking the first quarterly loss for the gauge since 2015. The dollar posted its fifth straight quarterly decline and oil its third consecutive quarterly gain.

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The arrival of the Easter holiday will be a relief for many investors following a roller-coaster start to the year in which stellar global equity gains gave way to a volatility blowup in February and a technology-led rout in recent days. Most Western markets are set to be closed on Friday, and many European countries are also out on Monday.

“Let’s get out of this quarter and take a breather,” said Rich Guerrini, the chief executive officer of PNC Investments. “We need some market stability at this point, and hopefully we get to some calmer waters.”

A rally in technology stocks helped the sector recoup some of its big losses from earlier in the week. Facebook was among the gainers, its shares adding 4% to $159.79. Amazon, which fell early on Trump’s latest tweets, finished up 1.1% at $1,447.34.

PVH, which owns Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, climbed 5.2% after its results beat expectations. Beverage maker Constellation Brands rose 3.4% after reporting a solid quarter. Movado Group jumped 15.7% after the watchmaker’s fourth-quarter earnings exceeded financial analysts’ forecasts.

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Shares in Gamestop slumped 10.8% after the retailer issued a disappointing full-year revenue and earnings outlook, which overshadowed fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Acxiom shares tumbled 19% after the marketing data firm said that it has been informed by Facebook that the social network will stop using third-party data providers like Acxiom over the next several months. Acxiom said it doesn’t expect the move to affect its fiscal 2018 guidance, but noted it expects its total revenue and profitability to be negatively affected by as much as $25 million.

Bitcoin fell as much as 10% on Thursday, pushing it toward the $7,000 mark and the lowest level on a closing basis since early February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The slide took the token’s 2018 losses to 50%, and other digital assets, including rivals Ripple and Litecoin, slumped more.

Bond prices rose. Yields on the 10-year Treasury declined four basis points to 2.74%, the lowest in more than seven weeks, after data showed U.S. consumer spending lagged behind income growth for a second month in February.

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The Commerce Department said Americans increased their spending 0.2% in February, while their incomes rose 0.4%, boosted by increased wages and business owners’ income. The healthy income gains could spur more spending in the coming months.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.2%. The euro was little changed at $1.2303. The British pound decreased 0.4% to $1.4027. The Japanese yen advanced 0.4% to 106.41 per dollar.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $64.95 a barrel. Gold was little changed at $1,325.60 an ounce.


UPDATES:

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2:50 p.m.: This article was updated with the close of markets and other stock prices.

11:20 a.m.: This article was updated for 11 a.m. PT stock prices.

This article was originally published at 8:10 a.m.


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