The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Thursday, fueled by gains in Facebook following its strong earnings report, while Amazon jumped in extended trade following its quarterly report. A pullback in the materials sector and Shopify stock kept the TSX in the red for the day.
Facebook Inc rallied 7.3% to an all-time high after the world’s largest social network beat quarterly revenue and profit late on Wednesday. It was its biggest single-day gain in five months and easily contributed the most upside to both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
The communication services index led the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 higher with a 2.75% gain, boosted by Facebook and Alphabet.
Apple Inc dipped 0.07% despite late on Wednesday posting sales and profit ahead of Wall Street estimates on strong iPhone and Mac sales.
“Investors are really looking for significantly outsized results, and also outsized guidance as they look ahead to upcoming quarters,” said Greg Bassuk, chief executive of AXS Investments. “We believe a lot of optimism has already been baked into the market, and we are cautioning investors to expect significant volatility.”
In extended trade, Amazon jumped 3% after reporting quarterly sales that beat analysts’ expectations as the e-commerce giant continued to benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic-driven online shopping boom.
Also after the bell, Twitter tumbled 9% following its quarterly report, with the company warning about rising costs and slower growth.
Of the 265 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 87% have topped analysts’ earnings estimates, with Refinitiv IBES data now predicting a 45% jump in profit growth.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 101.04 points, or 0.52%, at 19,255.92, as the materials sector lost nearly 2%. U.S. gold futures settled down 0.3% at $1,768.3, with an uptick in bond yields denting demand for the metal.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. note yields rose to more than a two-week high during the session on U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposal of trillions of dollars in new spending and data showing U.S. economic growth accelerated in the first quarter. Higher yields increase the opportunity cost for holding non-yielding bullion.
Growth in the U.S. economy was fueled by massive government aid to households and businesses, while a labour market report showed 553,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week, compared with 566,000 in the prior period.
Copper slipped on Thursday after briefly punching above the $10,000 level, last broken a decade ago, as speculators locked in profits amid worries about industrial demand.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange touched a high for the day of US$10,008 a tonne. The last time copper rose above $10,000 was in February 2011, when it hit a record of $10,190.
Copper and other financial markets got a boost when the U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it was too early to consider rolling back its emergency pandemic support.
But the copper market was vulnerable from the weight of bullish investors piling in, said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.
“The two major risks that the market carries right now is that technically it is looking pretty overbought, and also curbing demand from these price rises, especially in China, may take some sting out of the rally.”
Shopify lost 4.73% in Toronto, giving back some of Wednesday’s 11.12% after its stronger-than-expected earnings report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.71% to end at 34,060.36 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.68% to 4,211.47. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.22% to 14,082.55.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.5 billion shares, compared with the 9.9 billion full-session average over the last 20 trading days. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.19-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 120 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 150 new highs and 30 new lows. The S&P 500 is now up 12% in 2021, while the Nasdaq has gained 9%.
Read more: Stocks that saw action on Thursday - and why
Reuters, Globe staff
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