The Nasdaq Composite rose Thursday as traders combed through the latest batch of corporate earnings and fourth-quarter gross domestic product that beat expectations.
Stocks were mixed, with the tech-heavy index lately rising 0.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded flat, while the S&P 500 gained 0.2%.
GDP data released Thursday showed the economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.9% during the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said. That’s above the Dow Jones estimate of 2.8%, but represents a slight deceleration from the third-quarter reading.
“With today’s better-than-expected GDP number, I think investors think maybe we can get away with a fairly mild, mild recession that’s not likely to plunge us into an even deeper bear market. deep when all is said and done,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.
Meanwhile, the earnings season continued painfully, with strong Tesla results giving the Nasdaq and electric vehicle stocks a boost. Tesla jumped 8% after posting record revenues and strong profits. Beaten tech giants Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet also traded slightly higher.
Airline profits also rose, with Southwest down 5% on a bigger-than-expected loss fueled by its vacation slump. American Airlines fell despite a pace in the fourth quarter. United and Delta also fell.
Somewhere else, Chevron added 3% after announcing a $75 billion share buyback program.
All major averages are heading for weekly and monthly gains. The Dow and S&P are up 0.9% and 1.2% so far this week, respectively. The Nasdaq gained 1.9% this week and is on course for its best month since July.
Attention now turns to next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, where the central bank is expected to announce a 25 basis point hike as it battles high inflation. Investors will be on the lookout for clues as to how much the Fed intends to raise rates before cutting rates.