Alphabet and Microsoft help Wall Street clinch its best week in nearly 6 months

New York, Apr. 27 (BNA): The best week for U.S. stocks since November closed out with more gains thanks to Alphabet and Microsoft on Friday.

The S&P 500 rallied 1% to finish its first winning week in the last four. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153 points, or 0.4%, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 2%.

Alphabet leaped 10.2% after breezing past analysts’ expectations for profit last quarter. The parent company of Google also said it will start paying a dividend to investors and authorized a program to buy back up to $70 billion of its stock, a signal of how much cash it’s generating.

Microsoft, meanwhile, climbed 1.8% after reporting stronger profit and revenue than expected. It cited strong growth in its cloud-computing business as it pushes artificial-intelligence technology to its customers.

They helped offset a 9.2% drop for Intel. It reported stronger profit for the latest quarter than expected, but its revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates. So did its forecast for profit in the current quarter.

Stocks have broadly been under pressure this month after hopes withered for multiple cuts to interest rates this year by the Federal Reserve. 

A series of reports this year showing inflation remaining worse than forecast has traders expecting maybe one cut this year, down from forecasts for six or more at the start of the year.

Still, the higher-than-expected inflation readings will likely keep the Fed on hold at its next policy meeting on Wednesday. Its main interest rate has been sitting at the highest level since 2001 in hopes of undercutting inflation by putting downward pressure on the economy and financial markets.

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