S&P 500 and Nasdaq touch record highs as Facebook shares jump

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S&P 500 and Nasdaq touch record highs as Facebook shares jump

A trader walks outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, U.S. April 26, 2021.Shannon Stapleton is REUTERS Shannon Stapleton

On Thursday, the Nasdaq hovered near record highs helped by gains in Facebook and upbeat economic data, while the S&P 500 gained as investors locked into profits from certain megacap technology firms.

Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher, with Communications Services stocks leading gains.

Following a surge in digital ad buyouts over the past year, facebook Inc has jumped 5.8% to an all-time high, helped by a surge in quarterly revenue and profit on account of the pandemic and raised ad prices.The stock slipped 0.5% despite Wall Street reports on strong iPhone and Mac revenues, which are ahead of Apple Inc.Shares of other high-flying stocks include Amazon.com Inc.Inc. and Microsoft Corp., Inc. fell between 0.1% and 3.3%.

Both Apple and Microsoft had high expectations. Although they did exceed the consensus estimates, a lot of it was priced in so there is some profit taking coming in, said Thomas Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital.

Of the 265 companies reporting this year in the S&P 500, 86.8% have overtopped analysts’ earnings estimates, with the Refinitiv IBES data now predicting a 44.7% boost in profit growth.

The Nasdaq index and the S&P 500 had earlier reached highs during the session.

The market seems to be weaning just a little bit, we have seen stocks falling from their opening highs, said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

We are seeing investors question now 'Can momentum keep' and at least for today it seems like not really.

The economy accelerated in the first quarter, fueled by massive government assistance to households and businesses, while a labor market report showed 553,000 people were registered for unemployment benefits last week, compared with 566,000 in the previous period.More earnings reports from Dow components rolled in, with Caterpillar Inc.Inc. falling 3.1% after warning of supply chain bottlenecks.The drugmaker Merck Co Inc slid 5.1% after posting a quarterly loss on the market.Global shares extended gains after the Federal Reserve said it was too early to consider rolling back credit assistance for the economy, while U.S. President Joe Biden proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus package.At 12 : 40 p.m.ET, the Nasdaq Composite was down 39.06 points, or 0.38%, in 33,859. 44, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 4.99 points, or 0.12%, on 4,188. 17 and the S&P 500 was up 13,998 points, or 0.12%, at 13,998. 12.

McDonald's Corp. rose 0.8% after beating Wall Street estimates for prepandemic sales and returning to comparable levels of growth.Amazon.com, Twitter Inc and Gilead Sciences Inc will report their earnings later in the day.

Declining issuers outnumbered on the Nasdaq for a 1.37 - to - 1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.74 - to - 1 ratio on the NYSE.

The Nasdaq index recorded 104 new 52 week highs and no new low, while the S&P index registered 130 new highs and 18 new lows.

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