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Nasdaq futures jump more than 1% on Meta surge, Fed relief


Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

Nasdaq futures jumped on Thursday as Meta Platforms surged after announcing rigorous cost controls, while a dovish message from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell boosted bets of a softer landing for the U.S. economy.

Facebook-parent Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) jumped 18.9% in premarket trading after the company also announced a new $40 billion share buyback and said it would cut costs in 2023 by $5 billion to a range of $89 billion to $95 billion.

Shares of other growth companies including Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Inc (AMZN.O) rose between 1.1% and 4.3%. The three companies are slated to report quarterly results after market close.

Wall Street’s main indexes got a boost in the previous session from Powell acknowledging that inflation was starting to ease after the U.S. central bank raised rates by 25 basis points.

Although a U.S. recession is widely priced in, Powell’s comments aided hopes of it being a mild one.

After a bruising 2022, U.S. stock markets have made a strong start to the year, with megacap companies gaining on hopes that the Fed will pull back from its hawkish monetary policy outlook, which in turn could ease some pressure off their valuations.

At 5:18 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 45 points, or 0.13%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 20.75 points, or 0.5%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 179 points, or 1.44%.

A 0.2% decline in shares of drugmaker Merck & Co (MRK.N) ahead of its quarterly report weighed on Dow futures.