U.S. markets roared back into positive territory on Friday after a steep drop a day earlier, thanks to an upbeat jobs report and a signal from the head of the Federal Reserve that interest rates will not be rising as quickly as some had forecast.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index in midday trading Friday was up 3.5%, or more than 800 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 4.5%. The Dow closed out the day with a 746.94-point gain, or a boost of 3.3%, while the Nasdaq jumped 4.2% with a 275.35-point increase for the day.
Big winners on Friday included Netflix, up 9.7% to $297.57 per share, as well as Spotify (up 8.8% to $118.51) and Roku (up 12.1% to $33.73). Other tech and media stocks climbing Friday included Twitter (up 7% to $29.95), Lionsgate (up 6.6% to $17.40), Amazon (up 5% to $1,575.39), Alphabet (up 5.1% to $1,078.71), Apple (up 4.3% to $148.26), Facebook (up 4.7% to $137.95) and Disney (up 3.1% to $109.61).
The rise in tech and media stocks come after the broader market was dragged down Thursday, in part fueled by Apple’s announcement that it would miss revenue targets for the year-end 2018 quarter.
Traditional media giants were buoyed by the upturn in the market but did not realize the same gains as the tech sector. Comcast (up 3.4% to $35.81), AT&T (up 2.6% to $30.34) and CBS (up 2.3% to $41.17) were the biggest beneficiaries.
The burst of buying activity was fueled in part by a positive jobs report. On Friday, the Department of Labor said U.S. employers added 312,000 jobs in December 2018, the fastest rate since last February, while the unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.9%. In addition, Fed chairman Jerome Powell issued comments reassuring investors that the central bank would be “patient” as it considered whether or not to raise interest rates.
Netflix in particular benefited from a bullish call Friday by Goldman Sachs, which reiterated its “buy” rating and told clients in a research note Friday the stock price could rally 50% in the next 12 months (with the Wall Street firm setting a price target of $400 per share). Goldman added Netflix to its Conviction Buy List, a targeted selection of stocks with the most upside potential, and also cited Amazon, Alphabet, PayPal and Grubhub as attractive internet stocks.
“[W]e believe Netflix represents one of the best risk/reward propositions in the internet sector,” Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry wrote in a note. “We continue to believe Netflix’s investment in content, technology and distribution will continue to drive subscriber growth well above consensus expectations both in the U.S. and internationally.”
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.