The Nasdaq rose by 1% after a robust GDP report and Tesla’s stock rose by 8% on profits. On Thursday, the Nasdaq Composite advanced as investors digested the most recent corporate earnings reports and the fourth-quarter gross domestic product, which were above analysts’ forecasts.
The index heavily weighted toward technology finished with a gain of 1.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day up 126 points, or 0.37%, while the S&P 500 finished with an increase of 0.7%.
According to data on the gross domestic product issued on Thursday, the Commerce Department stated that the economy grew at an annualized pace of 2.9% during the fourth quarter. That comes in higher than the 2.8% projection made by Dow Jones, but it’s a modest slowdown compared to the reading for the third quarter.
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“I think investors are thinking maybe we can get away with a pretty soft, mild recession that is not likely to throw us into an even deeper bear market when all is said and done,” said Sam Stovall, CFRA Research’s chief investment strategist. “With today’s better-than-expected GDP number,” he continued, “I think investors are thinking maybe we can get away with a pretty soft, mild recession.”
The earnings season continued with a mixed tone, with positive results from Tesla boosting the Nasdaq and stock of electric vehicle manufacturers. Following the company’s announcement of record sales and strong earnings, Tesla’s share price increased by 8%. Microsoft, Nvidia, Amazon, and Alphabet, all beleaguered technology heavyweights, added at least one percent each. IBM slumped 4% despite a sales beat.
Thursday saw the release of airline profits, with Southwest suffering a 4% drop in revenue due to a larger-than-expected loss caused by their holiday meltdown. Despite having a solid fourth quarter, American Airlines’ stock price went down. United and Delta both went in the wrong direction.
In other news, Chevron increased its share price by 4% after unveiling a share repurchase program that will cost $75 billion.
Gains in weekly and monthly time frames are in store for all major averages. Since the beginning of the week, the Dow and the S&P have seen respective gains of 1.4% and 1.7%. The Nasdaq has seen a weekly increase of 2.7% and is currently on track to have its best month since July.
The focus will now shift to the policy meeting held by the Federal Reserve the following week. At this meeting, it is widely anticipated that the central bank would announce a 25 basis point rise to excessive combat inflation. Investors will watch closely for hints indicating how much farther the Fed plans to raise rates before cutting them.