Technology sector

US stocks rise as Microsoft lifts tech sector; Investors brace for policy tightening Message from the Federal Reserve

US stocks surged after two days of wild intraday swings as strong results from Microsoft (MSFT) boosted the tech sector, and investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The Nasdaq Composite jumped 2% to 13,812.98, with the S&P 500 up 1.3% at 4,412.13 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.8% at 34,571.25.

Alongside technology, consumer discretionary and communication services led the gains, with all sectors in the afternoon green.

Microsoft’s (MSFT) second-quarter results beat estimates, thanks in part to Azure’s performance. The tech giant forecasts “strong revenue growth” in the coming quarter amid strong customer demand for hybrid and cloud offerings.

The company will increase market share as its business segments achieve “sustainable” growth in a “solid” software spending environment, Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients Wednesday.

The Fed will likely signal an interest rate hike starting in March, which is sooner than expected. Media reports suggest the central bank could also announce an early start to its schedule to reduce the size of its $8.9 trillion balance sheet.

Meanwhile, the United States and a handful of allies could deploy thousands more troops to NATO countries in Eastern Europe ahead of any possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, CNN reported, citing three US officials familiar with the talks.

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