BUSINESS S&P 500 ends at record on strong earnings after volatile session

BUSINESS

S&P 500 ends at record on strong earnings after volatile session

AFP

07:21, April 30, 2021

Signs for Wall Street hang near the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, U.S., April 5, 2021. (Photo: VCG)

The S&P 500 finished at a fresh record on Thursday as investors weighed strong earnings and good economic data against concerns equities have little room to rise after a strong run.

After a volatile session in which the index tripped into negative territory at midday, the broad-based S&P 500 ended with a gain of 0.7 percent at 4,211.47.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent to finish at 34,060.36, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2 percent to 14,082.55.

Stocks opened solidly higher following blowout earnings from Apple and Facebook as well as the data showing strong US growth in the first quarter and a drop in jobless claims.

But equities lost steam later in the morning.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare attributed the weakness to an emerging narrative about "peak" growth, which was reflected in the market's reaction to Apple's report that earnings rose to $23.6 billion, more than double.

After opening the session solidly higher, Apple finished down 0.1 percent.

The view is "the numbers are so good you can't get any better," O'Hare said, noting that stocks had rallied heading into earnings period.

While Apple moved sideways, Facebook finished up 7.3 percent after reporting that its profits in the recently ended quarter nearly doubled to $9.5 billion on sharp gains in digital advertising.

But Caterpillar fell 2.1 percent as it warned of potential supply chain problems even as it reported that quarterly earnings jumped 40.1 percent to $1.5 billion.

Lyft sank nearly 10 percent and Uber Technologies plunged six percent after Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told Reuters he believes "gig" workers should be classified as employees and eligible for full benefits. Shares of food-delivery services DoorDash and Grubhub also fell sharply.

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