Futures rebound after volatile week, takeover talks boost VMware

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street rallied on Monday as gains from banks and recently battered megacap market leaders helped U.S. stocks rebound after their longest streak of weekly declines since the dotcom bust.

All three major U.S. stock indexes were sharply higher, with a rebound tech and tech-adjacent growth stocks, most notably Apple Inc and Microsft Corp providing the biggest lift.

Interest rate-sensitive banks shot 5.9% higher after the largest U.S. lender, JPMorgan Chase & Co raised its current year interest income outlook.

JPMorgan Chase’s stock was last up 7.2%.

“It looks like a reflex rally,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana. “Investors are following through of the bullish last hour on Friday, taking advantage of the market bouncing off of what seems to be a resistance level.”

On Friday, the S&P 500 closed 18.7% below its record closing high reached on Jan. 3. If the benchmark index closes 20% or more below that record, it will confirm it has been in a bear market since then.

Markets have been roiled in recent weeks by worries about persistently high inflation and aggressive attempts by the Federal Reserve to rein it in while the global economy copes with fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Today it would appear the market is less fearful over the inflation factor and the Fed being able to orchestrate a soft landing so to speak,” Carlson said, adding that “the (market’s) bias is still to the downside.”

Market participants could get a hint of the Fed’s state of mind when the minutes from its most recent policy meeting are release on Wednesday. [FEDWATCH]

A spate of economic indicators this week might lend further support to the notion that inflation peaked in March, and also whether high prices have hurt consumer spending power.

A spate of dire warnings from retailers last week, including Walmart Inc and Target Corp raised such concerns.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 619.8 points, or 1.98%, to 31,881.7, the S&P 500 gained 67.53 points, or 1.73%, to 3,968.89 and the Nasdaq Composite added 143.35 points, or 1.26%, to 11,497.96.

Among the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, financials were enjoying the largest percentage gain.

First-quarter reporting season is nearly a wrap, with 474 of the companies in the S&P 500 having posted results. Of those, 78% beat expectations, according to Refinitiv.

Looking ahead, current quarter pre-announcements are generally pessimistic, with 59 negative projections and 32 positive, compared with the year-ago quarter’s 37 negative and 52 positive, per Refinitiv.

Shares of VMWare Inc surged 20.2% following reports over the weekend that chipmaker Broadcom Inc was in talks to acquire the cloud service provider. Broadcom dropped 4.3%.

Pfizer Inc gained 1.1% after the drugmaker and its peer BioNTech SE announced its COVID-19 vaccine was effective in children under the age of 5.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.58-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.47-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 1 new 52-week highs and 31 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 24 new highs and 128 new lows.

(Reporting by Stephen Culp; additional reporting by Devik Jain and Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio)