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02/05/24 Briefing

US stocks strode higher Thursday in a calm after the Fed day storm, as investors set aside rate worries for now to focus on Apple (AAPL) earnings and the coming monthly jobs report.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose roughly 0.9%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) gained about 0.8%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) led the gains, up 1.5%.

Stocks are recovering from Wednesday's volatile session dominated by the wait for the Federal Reserve's policy decision. Chair Jerome Powell played down the likelihood of an interest-rate hike, bringing relief to investors worried that recent signs of "sticky" inflation might prompt that move.

As Powell again stressed the Fed is still depending on data to shape its thinking, the April jobs report due Friday is in full focus. Wall Street is watching for any signs of cracks in the strong labor market story, a key factor for policymakers.

Meanwhile, the OECD credited US outperformance as the reason the global economy is growing faster than expected, providing another reason for optimism.

After hours, Apple stocked moved higher by as much as 6% the company reported better than expected earnings per share and revenue for the prior quarter. The company also announced it was authorizing an additional $110 billion for share repurchases and increased its dividend to $0.25 per share.

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