Nasdaq, S&P 500 hit record highs as earnings optimism outweighs mixed economic data

An electric banner for the newly listed ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 19, 2021 in New York City.

US stocks rose on Thursday with the tech-heavy Nasdaq and the S&P 500 notching record highs as earnings optimism outweighed mixed economic data.

Gains from retail favorite Ford, one of the most widely held stocks among Robinhood‘s 22 million users, soared to a seven-year high, and Tesla lifted the benchmark S&P 500. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed higher, retracing losses from the previous session.

Apple will look to keep the streak of strong earnings going when it reports Thursday after the close. The iPhone maker is neck and neck with Microsoft as the most valuable company in the world. Online shopping giant Amazon will report late Thursday as well.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Thursday:

The strong earnings have helped soothe investors’ concerns about the economy, which grew less than expected in the third quarter. The recovery fell to its slowest pace since the pandemic began as the Delta variant continued to be a drag on the recovery.

Gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 2% over the three months that ended in September, slower than the expected 2.7% rate expected by Bloomberg economists.

The pace marked the slowest growth since the first quarter of 2020, during the initial fallout from the COVID crisis. It also shows a sharp deceleration from the second quarter’s annualized growth rate of 6.7%.

“It was to be expected that growth would slow down, as the US economy can’t sustain 6% or higher growth for long, but to drop all the way back to 2% is disappointing,” Chris Zaccarelli, CIO at Independent Advisor Alliance said in a Thursday note.

But for Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial, 2% growth is still growth.

“Some rotating pockets of the market experiencing corrections and supply chain disruptions posing as a real concern, the good is outweighing the potential bad for the time being,” he said in a note.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose to 1.564% from 1.528% on Wednesday. Bond yields and prices are inversely related.

In cryptocurrencies, dogecoin spin-off shiba inu slipped 9% to $US0.00006769 after a blistering rally. Here the top 10 meme tokens ranked by market capitalization.

The Wharton School, the prestigious business school at the University of Pennsylvania, said it will soon accept cryptocurrencies as payment for its new series of blockchain classes.

Oil prices were mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.22%, to $US82.84 ($AU110) per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped 0.32%, to $US84.31 ($AU112) per barrel.

Gold traded slightly higher by 0.12%, to $US1,798.84 ($AU2,384) per ounce.