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Stock Market News for Apr 30, 2021

U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Thursday after a slew of big tech companies reported blowout earnings and data showed a jump in first-quarter GDP, which lifted investors’ sentiments. Investors’ confidence also got a boost from President Joe Biden’s speech on Wednesday evening wherein he announced a $1.8 trillion additional package on government spending. This resulted in the S&P 500 closing at a record high. All the three major indexes ended in positive territory.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose slipped 0.7% or 239.98 points to close at 34,060.36 points.

The S&P 500 added 0.7% or 28.29 point to finish at 4,211.47 points to surpass its previous all-time closing high of 4187.62. The index at one point of time hit an all-time high of 4,218.78 points.

The rally was led by communications and financial stocks. The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR (XLC) gained 2.8%, while the Financials Care Select Sector SPDR (XLF) added 1.8%. Nine of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index closed in positive territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.2% or 31.52 points to end at 14,082.52 points. The index had at one time of the day hit a high of 14,211.57 points. Shares of Facebook, Inc. FB and Alphabet, Inc. GOOGL jumped 7.3% and 1.4%, respectively. Facebook carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 1.91% to 17.61. A total of 10.5 billion shares were traded on Thursday, higher than the last 20-session average of 9.9 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.19-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

Tech Giants Report Robust Earnings

It has been a great earnings season so far but markets haven’t managed to capitalize so far on it. Thursday was a shade better, with the tech heavyweights reporting blowout earnings. Both Facebook and Apple, Inc. AAPL reported stronger-than-expected results. However, Apple’s shares still declined despite beating both sales and profit estimates.

Thursday was also one of the busiest days of this earnings season, with 11% of the S&P 500 scheduled to provide quarterly updates. Besides, other big companies like McDonald’s Corporation MCD, Caterpillar, Inc. CAT and Comcast Corporation CMCSA also posting earnings beat. This somewhat gave investors’ confidence a boost, which didn’t happen in the previous few sessions.

Biden's Ambitious Plans

Thursday also marked Biden’s 100 days in office. Prior to that on Wednesday evening, he addressed a joint session of Congress, where he announced his major plans for giving a boost to the economy, including a $1.8 trillion additional government spending on childcare, education and paid leave. Biden’s announcement lifted investors’ sentiment on Thursday, sending shares on a rally.

Economic Data

The government said on Thursday that GDP for the first quarter increased 6.4%. This played a major boost to the morale of investors.

In other economic data, the Labor Department said that initial jobless claims fell to 553,000 last week from the revised 566,000 in the week earlier and also hit it lowest level since the coronavirus outbreak.

National Association of Realtors said, that pending home sales for March increased 1.9%.

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Comcast Corporation (CMCSA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
McDonalds Corporation (MCD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Facebook, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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