The S&P 500 hit a new intraday record on Thursday after earnings were blown out by two of the world’s largest tech companies: Apple and Facebook.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 140 points while the S&P 500 rose 0.7% to hit a new all-time high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 0.85% as a variety of big tech names rose across the board. Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet all gained at least 0.5%.
Investors pointed to strong earnings results from both iPhone maker Apple and social media platform Facebook to explain Thursday’s gains.
Sales rose 54% for the quarter, with each product category posting double-digit growth, according to Apple. The company also announced it would increase its dividend by 7% and approved share buybacks of $ 90 billion. Apple shares rose 1%.
Facebook revenue grew 48% due to higher-priced ads. Inventory rose 6.5% and hit a record high. Qualcomm shares rose 4.8% after seeing sales jump 52%.
Cruise stocks rose after the CDC announced that crossings from U.S. ports could begin in mid-July. Carnival and Norwegian stocks rose more than 4% each.
“The primary market trend remains positive,” said Keith Lerner, chief marketing strategist at Truist. “We expect a more troubled environment, however, as tensions between better economic growth and better earnings prospects versus the potential for higher taxes and rising interest rates as the economy normalizes,” he added.
Thursday marks the 100th day of President Joe Biden’s tenure. On Wednesday evening, he gave his first address to a joint congressional session where he unveiled his previously popular agenda, which included a $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan and a freshly unveiled $ 1.8 trillion plan for families, Includes children and students.
Thursday is also the busiest day of the quarterly earnings season. Around 11% of the S&P 500 is to be updated quarterly.
McDonald’s released its results before the opening bell, telling investors that its sales have finally topped pre-pandemic levels. The Dow component also increased the prospects for system-wide revenue growth.
Caterpillar exceeded expectations but traded a little lower while Merck lost 3% on disappointing results. Amazon, Gilead Sciences, Twitter, US Steel and Western Digital will post results after the market closes.
The economic data released on Thursday gave investors a glimpse of the progress of the economic recovery.
First-quarter GDP hit an annualized rate of 6.4%, according to a report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a sign that the U.S. economy started accelerating in 2021. Aside from the spike in reopenings in the third quarter of last year, that was the best period for GDP since the third quarter of 2003.
The Department of Labor, meanwhile, reported that initial unemployment claims last week were 553,000, just above the Dow Jones estimate of 528,000.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would keep interest rates near zero. The S&P slid from its high after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said during a press conference following the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision that there was some signs of froth in the market.
“Interest rates are unchanged for now, and despite the improvement in economic data, the cone talk was off the table at today’s Federal Reserve meeting,” said Bethany Payne, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson.
“As vaccination rates accelerate, employment boosts and expansive fiscal policies continue to support household and corporate incomes, investors are now looking for signs of whether the central bank’s safety net may be pulled out sooner than expected,” she added.
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