Nasdaq jumps 1.4% to close at new record ahead of big US earnings

Nasdaq jumps 1.4% to close at new record ahead of big US earnings

NYSE Jul12
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK: Wall Street was back in buying mode on Thursday (Jul 12), pushing the Nasdaq to a fresh record as high hopes for earnings season overshadowed trade war fears.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 224.44 points (0.91 per cent) to close at 24,924.89.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 24.27 points (0.87 per cent) to 2,798.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 107.31 points (1.39 per cent) to finish at 7,823.92, its first record since Jun 20.

Shares of large technology companies including Apple, Amazon and Microsoft won more than 1.5 per cent, along with industrial heavyweights Boeing and Caterpillar.

Stocks had risen four straight sessions until new US tariff actions throttled stocks on Wednesday. But investors shook off those fears again on Thursday.

"With President Trump in Europe this week, the trade wars issue is on hold and has taken a back seat," said Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman.

"The major indices are higher ... as earnings season shifts into the spotlight. Optimism is still there regarding earnings."

Analysts have projected US companies will report about a 20 per cent jump in second-quarter earnings compared with the year-ago period based on solid US economic trends and US tax cuts.

A wildcard is whether chief executives express greater worry about the hit from tariffs or announce plans to slow down capital spending programmes due to trade uncertainty, which economists have warned is a risk.

A trio of large banks led by JPMorgan Chase will report results on Friday.

Delta Air Lines shares advanced 1.8 per cent after reporting better-than-expected earnings, even as its full-year forecast missed expectations due to the hit from higher fuel prices.

Software and services firm CA Technologies surged 18.7 per cent after agreeing to be acquired by semiconductor giant Broadcom for US$18.9 billion. Broadcom slumped 13.7 per cent.

US pizza chain Papa John's surged 11.1 per cent after embattled founder John Schnatter resigned as chairman for using an inflammatory racial slur on a conference call.

Source: AFP/de