Investor Sentiment Increases Ahead Of Jobs Report, Dow Jumps Over 300 Points

The CNN Money Fear and Greed index showed further improvement in the overall market sentiment, but the index remained in the “Fear” zone on Thursday.

U.S. stocks settled higher on Thursday, with the Dow Jones index surging more than 300 points during the session. The U.S. Federal Reserve, on Wednesday, opted to keep the federal funds rate unchanged at 5.25% to 5.5%, as widely expected.

On the economic data front, the trade deficit in the US narrowed slightly to $69.4 billion in March versus a revised $69.5 billion gap in February. U.S. initial jobless claims came in unchanged from the previous week at 208,000 during the week ending April 27, compared to market expectations of 212,000.

Data on April nonfarm payrolls will be released today, with economists projecting 240,000 job gains for the month.

QUALCOMM Incorporated QCOM shares jumped around 10% on Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter financial results and raised its dividend. DoorDash, Inc. DASH shares dipped over 10% after the company reported mixed first-quarter financial results. Carvana Co. CVNA shares surged around 34% after the company reported upbeat sales for the first quarter.

Most sectors on the S&P 500 closed on a positive note, with consumer discretionary, real estate and information technology stocks recording the biggest gains on Thursday. However, materials and health care stocks bucked the overall market trend, closing the session lower.

The Dow Jones closed higher by around 322 points to 38,225.66 on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 0.91% at 5,064.20, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.51% at 15,840.96 during Thursday's session.

Investors are awaiting earnings results from American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. AXL, The Hershey Company HSY, and Fluor Corporation FLR today.

At a current reading of 36.2, the index remained in the “Fear” zone on Thursday, versus a prior reading of 33.9.

What is CNN Business Fear & Greed Index?

The Fear & Greed Index is a measure of the current market sentiment. It is based on the premise that higher fear exerts pressure on stock prices, while higher greed has the opposite effect. The index is calculated based on seven equal-weighted indicators. The index ranges from 0 to 100, where 0 represents maximum fear and 100 signals maximum greediness.

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