Investing.com – The Nasdaq turned positive for the year after a sharp rally on Thursday, led by an ongoing climb in FAANG and a surge in PayPal on upbeat guidance, while slowing weekly unemployment claims also lifted sentiment.
Tech continued its March higher as investors seemingly continue to back stocks that not only have ample cash in the bank to weather the pandemic, but also are showing signs that they are likely to benefit from the current Covid-19 crisis.
PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) missed earnings and revenue consensus estimates, but reported a surge in activity, with transactions up 20% as merchants on its payments platform continued to ramp up their e-commerce offerings in the wake of shelter-at-home measures. Its share rallied 13.4%.
In April, Paypal saw a “dramatic monthly acceleration of more 90% in new account adds as online commerce benefited from global ‘shelter-in-place’ behavior,” Oppenheimer said in a note. “Management believes the secular shift toward digital payments has accelerated a few years.”
Twilio (NYSE:TWLO), meanwhile, surged 41% after reporting a profit of 6 cents a share on revenue of $364.9 million, confounding estimates for a loss of 11 cents a share on revenue of $331 million.
The company reported active customer accounts jumped 23% year on year at the end of March
FAANG names, meanwhile, also supported the gain in tech, with Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) leading the pack, up 2%.
T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), meanwhile, climbed 8.5% as its first-quarter earnings of $1.10 per share topped estimates for $1.03 per share.
Energy, meanwhile, was among the biggest gainer on the day, led by a rise in oil prices amid hopes the reopening of the economy will lift crude demand and ease the glut in supplies.
Also helping sentiment, the number of Americans filing for weekly unemployment continues to slow, with 3.17 million claims recorded for the week ended May 2. That was above economists’ forecasts of $3 million, but down for the fifth week in row, raising hopes the worst is over for the labor market.
The update on the labor market arrived just a day ahead of the crucial nonfarm payrolls report for April.