Investing.com – Wall Street jumped on Friday as strong earnings from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) helped lift tech stocks, while comments from New York Federal Reserve President John Williams boosted hope of a half-point rate cut at the end of the month.
Williams said Thursday that the central bank needed to “act quickly” when rates were low, as “it's better to take preventative measures than to wait for disaster to unfold.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) helped rally tech stocks, as it gained 2.1% after its fiscal fourth-quarter revenue and profit came in much higher than expected.
BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) rose 1.2% even as its profit for the quarter fell 6.5% due to a drop in securities revenue and an investor shift to fixed-income funds.
Oilfield services producer Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) fell 2.8% after its revenue numbers beat expectations and it named company insider Olivier Le Peuch as its new CEO.
Elsewhere, JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) slumped 11.1% after Reuters reported the company has hired advisers to explore a debt restructuring plan to help the struggling retailer.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) fell 1% after total expenses for the quarter rose 9.2% on a boost to reward programs to attract more high-spending customers.
In commodities, crude oil rose 0.4% to $55.52 a barrel. Gold futures lost 0.8% to $1,439.85 a troy ounce, while the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, gained 0.3% to 96.768.
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