S&P, Nasdaq hit records as GDP, tech earnings boom

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The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rallied to record highs Thursday as traders celebrated stronger-than-expected economic growth and blockbuster tech earnings. 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES33854.54+34.16+0.10%
SP500S&P 5004197.99+14.81+0.35%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX14061.635659+10.61+0.08%

The S&P 500 rose 0.82% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.98% as both indexes reached all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, gained 209 points, or 0.62%, holding just below its own all-time peak. 

Data released Thursday by the Commerce Department showed the U.S. economy grew at a 6.4% annual pace during the first three months of the year, exceeding the 6.1% growth that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting. 

The strong report comes after President Biden on Wednesday evening delivered his State of the Union Address, laying out his plans for trillions of dollars of spending and tax increases on the wealthy. 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AAPLAPPLE, INC.134.32+0.74+0.55%

Looking at stocks, Apple Inc. reported quarterly sales surged 54% from a year ago as all of its product categories saw double-digit growth. The iPhone maker hiked its quarterly dividend by 7% and said it would buy back an additional $90 worth of its shares.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FBFACEBOOK, INC.324.79+17.69+5.76%

Facebook Inc. beat on both the top and bottom lines, fueled by a 30% increase in the average ad price. The company’s user base in the U.S. and Canada held steady at 195 million daily active users. The stock touched a fresh record. 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MCDMCDONALD’S CORP.233.63+1.25+0.54%

McDonald’s Corp.’s net revenue topped pre-pandemic levels as U.S. same-store sales grew 13.6% during the quarter. Global same-store sales, meanwhile, rose 7.5% as some countries prolonged their COVID-19 lockdowns. 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CATCATERPILLAR, INC.226.50-6.23-2.68%

Caterpillar Inc. topped demand Wall Street estimates for earnings and sales as the reopening of the economy boosted demand for construction equipment. CEO Jim Umpleby said the heavy equipment manufacturer has so far been able to successfully navigate the supply chain disruptions that have impacted other companies.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FFORD MOTOR CO.11.29-1.12-9.06%

Ford Motor Co. said the global chip shortage could cause production to be cut in half during the current quarter and cost it $2.5 billion this year. Both earnings and revenue topped analyst estimates. 

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumped 84 cents to $64.70 per barrel and gold ticked up $2.60 to $1,776.50 an ounce.

Overseas markets were mostly higher. 

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.69%, France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.43% and Germany’s DAX 30 declined 0.5%. 

Asian markets rallied across the board with Japan’s Nikkei 225 edging up 0.21%, China’s Shanghai Composite index gaining 0.52% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbing 0.8%. 

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