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Wall Street Opens Higher on Buoyant Data, Strong Earnings; Dow up 160 Pts

Stock MarketsApr 29, 2021 09:37AM ET
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© Reuters

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com -- U.S. stock markets opened higher on Thursday, supported by another blast of record earnings from Silicon Valley and further signs of a broader recovery in the economy.

The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.4% in the first quarter of the year, up from a rate of 4.3% three months earlier, as massive stimulus spending supported household consumption at a time when nearly 20 million people were claiming benefits related to unemployment.

The number of jobless has come down since the end of the first quarter, and initial jobless claims inched down to a new post-pandemic low of 553,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. The government's broadest measure of those claiming unemployment benefits - including under programs set up to deal with the pandemic - dropped by another 845,000 to 16.2 million. The high number of jobless is the main reason why Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell once again refused to countenance tightening monetary policy at his press conference on Wednesday.

By 9:35 AM ET (1435 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 163 points, or 0.5%, at 33,984 points.

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite was outperforming with a gain of 0.9%, thanks largely to blowout earnings announced late on Wednesday by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).  

Facebook stock gained over 5% at the open in response to a surge in advertising revenue in the quarter that echoed the performance of Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) on Tuesday night.

The news also lifted Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) stock by over 1% each. The two companies are set to report their earnings after the close on Thursday.

Yet again, the major platform companies outperformed more niche names that had also been lifted last year by the same trend towards digitization and remote working and shopping. After Pinterest (NYSE:PINS)'s disappointment on Tuesday, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) stock fell 11.4% after warning of a slowdown in growth in the current quarter, suggesting that pandemic-related gains won't be uniformly consistent going forward, as people regain their freedom to go out and spend in person.

Elsewhere, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) ADRs surged 12.1% after the underperforming Finnish provider of network equipment finally reported quarterly numbers that gave hope in a turnaround under its relatively new CEO Pekka Lundmark. 

The global chip shortage reared its ugly head again, with Ford Motor (NYSE:F) stock falling nearly 9% after the company warned it may slash production by nearly half in the current quarter, while Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) stock fell over 2% to its lowest in over a month after it, too, warned that this year's production targets may not be met as a result of the shortage. 

Wall Street Opens Higher on Buoyant Data, Strong Earnings; Dow up 160 Pts
 

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Comments (3)
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Apr 29, 2021 11:40AM ET
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11AM sharp, and we have the predicable, miracle bounce save the sell-off once again.  Assume the proper position America.
Modern Matrix
Modern Matrix Apr 29, 2021 11:40AM ET
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fetal position?
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Apr 29, 2021 10:51AM ET
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yeah....16 million unemployed...dambusters!
Larry Deangelis
Larry Deangelis Apr 29, 2021 9:56AM ET
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S&P will be down 100 pts today!
Xolani Kunene
Xolani Kunene Apr 29, 2021 9:56AM ET
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True!!
tyler sy
tyler sy Apr 29, 2021 9:56AM ET
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lies
wally spaller
wally spaller Apr 29, 2021 9:56AM ET
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Real special
 
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