New York Report: Tech rally sees S&P jump after Facebook beat

The S&P 500 scored its biggest gain in more than a month last night as Facebook led a tech rally and data showed the US economy was on solid footing in the fourth quarter.

The day’s rebound pushed the S&P 500 back into positive territory for the week, but the index was still down 2.9 per cent for the month.

Facebook shares jumped 14.1 per cent to end at $61.08, hitting a lifetime high of $62.50 during the session and supporting both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

The social media company delivered its strongest revenue growth in two years on Wednesday, beating analysts’ estimates. The S&P 500 tech sector index finished the regular session up 1.5 per cent and was among the day’s best-performing sectors, though all 10 sector indexes ended the day higher.

Meanwhile, official data showed US GDP grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, boosting sentiment.

On Wednesday, each of the three major US stock indexes had dropped one per cent after the Federal Reserve announced it would reduce its monthly bond purchases by another $10bn. Worries about emerging markets also hit stocks in recent sessions.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 109.82 points or 0.7 per cent, to end at 15,848.61. The S&P 500 gained 19.99 points or 1.13 per cent, to finish at 1,794.19, its biggest daily percentage gain since 18 December.

The Nasdaq Composite added 71.69 points or 1.77 per cent, to close at 4,123.13, its best daily percentage rise since 10 October.