Nasdaq Hits Record as Big Tech Gains; Facebook Changes Name

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Nasdaq Hits Record as Big Tech Gains; Facebook Changes Name
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – The Nasdaq climbed to record highs Thursday, as investors piled into big tech ahead of the final wave of big tech earnings from Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ).

The Nasdaq  rallied 1.2%, and had earlier notched a record of 15,425.6 The S&P 500 rose 0.16% to remain close to its all-time high of 4,598.36. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.52%, or 186 points.

Apple and Amazon led the gains for big tech as investors increased their bullish bets on the stocks ahead of the duo’s quarterly reports due after the market close.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ), meanwhile, announced it would change its name to Meta. The news came out at its virtual reality conference, where it showcased a preview of its ambitions to build the metaverse as it seeks to diversify beyond social media. 

eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY ) shares slipped about 6% after its fourth-quarter revenue guidance fell short of estimates, stoking worries about its sales ahead of the holidays.

Economically sensitive cyclical sectors, meanwhile, pared some losses from a day earlier despite data showing a third-quarter slowdown in the economy.

Third-quarter GDP rose 2.0% on an annualized basis in the third quarter, well below the 2.6% gain expected.

That was the weakest pace in five quarters as the impact of the Delta variant of coronavirus "slowed consumer demand, and higher prices which eroded real demand across all sectors," Jefferies (NYSE: JEF ) said in a note.

Bets on economic growth nearing the end, however, are misplaced as the consumers continue to spend and monetary policy remains accommodative.

"I don't see the growth story ending anytime soon," Robert Conzo, CEO of Wealth Alliance told in an interview on Thursday.

"There is a wall of money, interest rates are still close to zero, people are coming out of the second wave of the pandemic because of increased vaccination rates and that's driving extreme growth," Conzo added.

U.S. Treasury yields shrugged off the weaker data, helping bank stocks climb higher, boosting financials.

Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ: CINF ), Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK ), First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC ) were more than 1% higher.

Consumer discretionary stocks were also in the ascendency, led by gains in Smith AO (NYSE: AOS ) and United Rentals (NYSE: URI ) following better-than-expected quarterly results.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) and Ford also supported the sector, with latter surging following blowout quarterly results.

Ford Motor (NYSE: F ) reported earnings of 51 cents that markedly topped Wall Street’s forecasts, and raised its full-year guidance, sending its shares up more than 10%.

Energy lagged the broader market move higher as oil prices added to losses from a day earlier amid concerns about demand outlook.

"A surge in new cases of COVID-19 threatens to disrupt the recovery in oil demand," ANZ Research said.  "So much so that despite emerging signs of market tightness, OPEC is likely to refrain from adding more barrels of oil to the market."

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