S&P 500 Closes at Record on Facebook-Led Surge

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By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The S&P 500 closed at record highs Thursday as tech steadied from its intraday malaise and a Facebook-led rally in communication services supported investor sentiment. 

The climbed 0.7% to end the day at a closing record high of 4,211.60, and the was up 0.2%, after rising to an intraday record high of 14,211.57. The rose 0.7%, or 242 points.

U.S. first-quarter GDP rose 6.4%, better than expectations for a 6.1% rise, and growth is expected to pick up in the quarters ahead.

“The strength in activity late in the first quarter means the second quarter starts from strong foundations, and we think double-digit growth is a good bet as Covid fades and the economy fully opens,” Pantheon Macroeconomics said. “Q3 should also see very rapid growth.”

U.S. bond rates gave up some their intraday gains helping big tech recoup some losses.  

Facebook (NASDAQ:) was up 7% after reporting blowout quarterly earnings of $3.30 per share that markedly beat estimates for $2.33 a share.

Apple (NASDAQ:) also delivered better-than-expected results, led by strong services and iPhone sales growth. The shares ended flat after cutting intraday losses amid a slew of positive upgrades from Wall Street.

“Apple absolutely crushed rising Street expectations heading into the print across the board, with iPhone revenues beating by 17%+ in a jaw dropping performance,” Wedbush said in a note as it lifted its price target on the stock to $185 from $175.

Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) was higher, while Microsoft (NASDAQ:) traded in the red.

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:), which is set to report results after the market closes, ended the day higher.

Amazon is expected to report strong results, driven by e-commerce growth and increasing demand for its cloud services amid an ongoing digital transformation trend.

Financials were pushed higher by a rise in banks and insurance companies. Cincinnati Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:) led the group after the regional bank reported its first-quarter results late-Wednesday and topped analysts’ estimates.

Energy stocks continued to ride oil prices higher after major oil produces kept plans to gradual ease production cuts in place earlier this week. 

In other news, LYFT (NASDAQ:) and Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:) fell sharply after Labor Secretary Marty Walsh reportedly said most gig workers in the U.S. should be classified as employees. 

On the political front, President Joe Biden unveiled Wednesday the second installment of the infrastructure plan that would focus on improving health care and education.

“Unlike the American Jobs Plan, which would be funded by a corporate tax hike, the American Families Plan would be paid for by raising taxes on individuals, most notably a near doubling of the capital gains tax rate on the wealthiest of Americans,” Stifel said.

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