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Overnight Markets: Facebook profits boost Wall Street

But a selloff in health-care stocks and a mixed bag of earnings reports kept gains in check.

 
Overnight Markets: Facebook profits boost Wall Street

Wall Street climbed on Thursday as oil prices surged and a blockbuster quarterly report from Facebook drove tech shares higher, but a selloff in health-care stocks and a mixed bag of earnings reports kept gains in check.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 125 points, or 0.8%, to 16070. The S&P 500 added 10 points, or 0.6%, to 1893, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 39, or 0.9%, to 4507.

Facebook (FB.O) surged 15.5% in its biggest one-day leap since 2013 after the digital advertising behemoth smashed expectations with a 52% jump in fourth-quarter revenue. Alphabet (GOOGL.O) jumped 4.28%, helping the S&P tech sector surge 1.48%.

The S&P energy sector rallied 3.15%, buoyed by a rise of almost 3% in oil prices due to speculation that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries would cut output to boost prices.

The Nasdaq biotech index lost 3.5% and was on track for its biggest monthly fall in 16 years. Abbott Labs (ABT.N) was the biggest drag on the healthcare sector, with a 9.3% drop.

After the bell, Microsoft (MSFT.O) jumped 4.5% after its quarterly results beat expectations thanks to aggressive cost cutting. But Amazon (AMZN.O) slumped 11% after its quarterly report let down investors.

During the session, PayPal (PYPL.O) surged 8.39% and Under Armour (UA.N) jumped 22.59%. Revenue at both companies beat estimates.

Among the losers, eBay (EBAY.O) sank 12.45% after it forecast weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

In Asia, share markets traded mixed on Friday in morning session, despite gains on Wall Street was buoyed by small gains in oil prices.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 0.39% after weaving in and out of negative territory as traders await the Bank of Japan's monetary policy decision around midday. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi fell by 0.60%. Down Under, the ASX 200 index was trading lower by 0.20%.

Chinese markets bucked the trend at market open, trading up in positive territory. The Shanghai composite gained as much 0.82% before retracing some gains to trade up 0.45%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 1.14%.

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