S&P Hits 5-Mo. High

The S&P 500 rose to its highest level in five months on Thursday as better-than-expected Meta results further improved sentiment around technology shares, which led the market lower last year.

The Dow Jones Industrials backed off 114.57 points to move into Thursday afternoon at 33,978.39. The major index was dragged by Merck shares after the pharmaceutical firm issued a weak outlook in its latest earnings results, despite beating estimates on the top and bottom lines.

The S&P 500 gained 56.84 points, or 1.4%, to 4,175.39.

The NASDAQ Composite spiked 339.4 points, or 2.9%, to 12,155.72.

The gains come ahead of a trio of Big Tech results after the bell in Apple, Amazon and Alphabet.

Meta surged more than 25% in its best day since 2013 after reporting a fourth-quarter beat on revenue and announcing a $40-billion stock buyback. That helped investors look past losses in the business unit overseeing the metaverse.

Other mega-cap tech stocks rose on the back of those results. Shares of Google-parent Alphabet were up more than 6%, while Amazon jumped more than 6%. Apple shares gained more than 3%.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury heightened, reducing yields to 3.37% from Wednesday’s 3.42%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped 33 cents to $76.08 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices sagged $10.40 to $1,932.40 U.S. an ounce.