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Tech euphoria drives markets, but Apple and China sink

Markets divided today between the euphoria on Wall Street and the decline in China, which continues despite Beijing's attempts to stimulate the economy and send optimistic messages about the future.
Chinese stocks ended the session in the red and headed for their biggest weekly decline in five years, while windfall profits from Amazon and Meta supported US futures ahead of crucial labor market data to be released at 2.30pm (Italian time).
The result will offer further insights into the economic situation of the major world power and, above all, into the macro conditions that will guide the Fed's next choices.
Yesterday's meeting of the Bank of England concluded the round of meetings of the main central banks, which they inaugurated 2024 under the banner of prudence regarding rate cuts.
Summer, rather than spring, seems to be the most favorable period for a change in monetary policy.
Meanwhile, the markets are also dealing with renewed concerns about the stability of US regional banks, which have resurfaced after New York Community Bancorp reported increased stress in its commercial real estate portfolio, collapsing on the stock market in the last 2 days.
Furthermore, the complex situation in the Middle East and the Red Sea remains at the center of investors' attention, with increasingly strong fears of a dramatic escalation that could impact the prices of raw materials and goods.
read also Why did NY Community Bancorp collapse and what does the real estate bubble have to do with it? Big tech protagonists of the markets.
China, Apple under stress Friday's February 2 session in Asia saw South Korea's Kospi lead gains in the region's markets, which followed Wall Street's rebound from the sell-off earlier in the week.
China, however, had another volatile and nervous session.
Chinese indices closed in the red with Shenzhen dropping more than 2% and the CSI 300 finishing the week down around 5%.
Disappointment also at Apple.
Investors fear the company is losing influence in China, a long-valued market that generates about a fifth of its sales.
The quarterly report, in fact, showed that the region's revenue fell 13% in the last quarter, marking the worst decline since the 2018 holiday season.
Sales of iPads and wearable technology were particularly weak in the country and the company also warned that iPhone growth in the current quarter will not be as strong as Wall Street expected.
read also Apple, Q1 profit above expectations but sales in China are worrying The sentiment towards Meta and Amazon, the other two tech giants that published their financial results, is different.
In after-hours trading, Meta shares jumped 15% after the social media giant defied analysts' expectations.
Facebook's parent company also announced it will pay a quarterly dividend for the first time and authorized a $50 billion stock buyback program.
Amazon shares rose about 9% after the bell, boosted by results that showed strong sales.
On Wall Street, Thursday's session ended with rebounds.
The Dow Jones added 0.97%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 1.25% and 1.3%, respectively.
These moves follow Wednesday's sell-off that began after Jerome Powell's indication that a rate cut at the March meeting was unlikely.

Author: A.W.M.

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