Stocks booked record highs Thursday, boosted by the stronger-than-expected GDP report and blockbuster tech earnings.
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|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||13752.236737||+119.39||+0.88%|
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 242 points, or 0.72%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 0.68% and 0.22%, respectively. The gains, which ran both the S&P and the Nasdaq to all-time highs, left the Dow less than 138 points below its own peak.
Investors celebrated 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.
President Biden on Wednesday evening delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress, laying out his plans for trillions of dollars of spending and tax increases on the wealthy.
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.
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.
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.
Caterpillar Inc. topped 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.
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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 $1.15 to $65.01 per barrel and gold slid $5.40 to $1,768.10 an ounce.
Overseas markets were mixed.
In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 edged down 0.03%, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.07% and Germany’s DAX 30 declined 0.9%.
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%.