U.S. stock indexes advanced on Friday as solid results from Microsoft lifted technology stocks and added to an upbeat mood following signs from New York Fed President John Williams that the central bank would lower interest rates this month.
Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), America’s most valuable company, gained 2.2% as strength in its cloud business helped it beat analysts’ estimates at the end of a week of mixed corporate results.
The S&P technology sector .SPLRCT gained 0.60%, providing the biggest boost to the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX index.
“Some optimism is being carried forward from New York Fed President John Williams’ comments and largely better-than-expected corporate earnings so far, highlighted by Microsoft,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
Second-quarter profits at S&P 500 companies are now estimated to rise 1%, according to Refinitiv IBES data, in a reversal from earlier expectations of a small drop.
Williams’ remarks that the Fed cannot wait for economic disaster to unfold and must add stimulus early were behind Thursday’s positive close.
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