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NEW YORK: U.S. stocks on Thursday rallied for a second day, with all three major indexes ending up more than 1% as data showing a second consecutive quarterly contraction in the economy fueled investor speculation the Federal Reserve may not need to be as aggressive with interest rate hikes as some had feared.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes retreated US10YT=RR following the data, while utilities .SPLRCU and real estate .SPLRCR - both of which tend to rise when yields fall - were the day's best-performing S&P 500 sectors.
The decline in yields may suggest "that markets think the Fed will have to pivot and move rates lower at some point, maybe in the next 12-month period," said Mona Mahajan, senior investment strategist at Edward Jones.
"It does imply the pace of tightening will become more gradual going forward."
In addition, the growth forecast for second-quarter earnings has risen this week as more S&P 500 companies reported results and beat analyst expectations. Among them, Ford Motor Co F.N shares jumped 6.1% after it reported a better-than-expected quarterly net income.
After the closing bell, Amazon.com > shares shot up more than 12% as the online retailer reported quarterly sales that beat Wall Street estimates. Amazon.com ended the regular session up 1.1%. Shares of Apple AAPL.O were up more than 3% after hours following the company's quarterly report and upbeat forecast, and S&P 500 e-mini futures EScv1 were up 2% late.,
Early in the day, the U.S. Commerce Department said the American economy unexpectedly contracted in the second quarter - the second straight quarterly decline in gross domestic product (GDP) reported by the government.
The news increased the possibility that the economy was on the cusp of a recession, and some investors said it might deter the Fed from continuing to aggressively increase rates as it battles high inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 332.04 points, or 1.03%, to 32,529.63 the S&P 500 .SPX gained 48.82 points, or 1.21%, to 4,072.43 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 130.17 points, or 1.08%, to 12,162.59.
The Nasdaq registered its biggest two-day percentage gain since May 27.
Stocks had rallied in the previous session when the Fed raised rates and comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell eased some worries about the pace of rate hikes.
"More investors are getting in now because they think at least there's not going to be any big surprises over the balance of the summer," as far as rates are concerned, said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc, an investment advisory firm based in Toledo, Ohio.