Stocks Rise After Strong Earnings, Economic Data

Stocks Rise After Strong Earnings, Economic Data

U.S. stock indexes rose toward fresh records Thursday on strong earnings reports and improving economic data.

The S&P 500 gained 0.9%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.8%, or about 260 points, putting both indexes on pace for record closes. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 1%.

A powerful rally has pushed stocks to repeated highs in 2021, and many investors believe the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and plentiful government spending suggest shares have room to keep rising. The S&P 500 and Dow are both up about 11% for the year.

Investors will monitor earnings reports in the coming weeks as they assess how the outlook for corporate earnings aligns with increasingly high stock prices. Analysts expect that earnings among companies in the S&P 500 jumped 29% in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier, according to FactSet.

“There’s elevated expectations coming into this quarter, but we still think that there’s going to be a significant amount of companies beating those estimates,” said Chad Oviatt, director of investment management at Huntington Private Bank.

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