Stocks soared Friday, with the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite notching record highs, as an important economic growth report came in better than expected while McDonald's and Google turned in robust quarterly reports.
The U.S. economy grew at a 2.1 percent pace, faster than Wall Street expected during the second quarter, driven by consumer spending. That topped the estimate for 1.8 percent growth, but slowed compared to first-quarter growth of 3.1 percent.
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The Department of Justice on Friday approved the long-awaited $26 billion merger of T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp., cutting a deal with a number of state attorneys general who had sued to block the deal and setting the stage for faster implementation of 5G service.
Under terms of the department's approval, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint prepaid, to Dish Network Corp., a Colorado-based satellite television provider.
Markets are also being helped by earnings from several companies, overcoming the disappointment of the European Central Bank's hinting at future interest rate cuts, but not acting immediately.
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McDonald's topped quarterly sales expectations helped by the 2 for $5 Mix and Match offer, sending shares higher.
Amazon shares fell after the company reported its first profit miss in two years. The company also forecast lower income in the current quarter due to costs associated with one-day delivery.
Shares of Google's parent Alphabet's shot higher after quarterly revenue and earnings came in far stronger than expected, easing growth concerns. Revenue rose 19 percent to $38.94 billion.
Twitter shares jumped on better-than-expected second-quarter revenue, plus more users saw ads on the site.
Almost 40 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings and so far the results are better than expected, with three-quarters beating profit forecasts and nearly two-thirds topping revenue estimates.
A deal that had been talked about this week was finally made official as Apple purchased the majority of Intel Corp.'s modem business in a deal valued at $1 billion.
Oil prices rose on Friday and were on track for a weekly increase. U.S. crude is heading toward a weekly gain of 1.1 percent.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.07 percent, and the price of crude oil rose 0.36 percent to $56.22 per barrel.