Amazon, Alphabet drive Nasdaq to record high

April 28, 2017 09:13 AM

Gains in and Google parent Alphabet propelled the Nasdaq Composite to a record high, but the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed as weak economic data weighed.

Amazon (AMZN.O) rose 3.1% to $945.50, while Alphabet (GOOGL.O) gained 4.2% to $928.50 after their quarterly results beat estimates. The two stocks also boosted the S&P 500 index.

Data showed gross domestic product increased at a 0.7% annual rate, below the 1.2% rise estimated by economists, as consumer spending barely increased and businesses invested less on inventories.

The economy grew at a pace of 2.1% in the fourth quarter.

The major indexes are on track to end the month in positive territory, with the Nasdaq on track to post gains for the sixth straight month as the corporate earnings season continues to impress. 

Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 12.4% in the first quarter, the most since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

While strong earnings have kept the market at or near record levels, persistent geopolitical tensions in North Korea and Syria have weighed on investors' minds. 

President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"While we had some strong tech earnings last night, the market is taking a cautious attitude towards Trump's comments on North Korea and other geopolitical concerns," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

At 9:39 a.m. ET (1339 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 16.76 points, or 0.08 percent, at 20,964.57 and the S&P 500 .SPX was down 0.08 points, or 0.00%, at 2,388.69.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 13.18 points, or 0.22%, at 6,062.12.

Five of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the energy Index's .SPNY 0.46 percent rise leading the gainers.

Oil majors Exxon (XOM.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) were up about 1.1% after the two companies reported quarterly profits above expectations.

Qualcomm (QCOM.O) fell 3.6% to $51.25 after it said Apple (AAPL.O) decided to withhold royalty payments to its contract manufacturers that are owed to the chipmaker until a legal dispute between the companies is resolved. Apple was up marginally at $143.73.

Starbucks (SBUX.O) fell 2.9% to $59.58 after the world's biggest coffee chain cut its full-year profit target.

Intel (INTC.O) was down 3.2% at $36.20 after the company reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,464 to 1,034. On the Nasdaq, 1,308 issues fell and 873 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 26 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and 16 new lows.


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