Economic data, robust meger & acquisitions activity, and a slew of impressive earnings reports provided Wall Street with enough momentum to recuperate losses from the previous trading session on Thursday, as stocks rallied across the board.
The Conference Board heartened investors when its 3-6 month outlook for the US economy for the month of January was in keeping with what economists had been expecting. Coupled with the previous afternoon’s announcement that social media giant Facebook would purchase the massively popular chat app Whatsapp for $19 billion, investors were unphased by an unforeseen decline in the Philadelphia Fed’s Business Outlook Survey for February.
Standard & Poor’s 500: +0.60 percent to 1,839.78
Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.60 percent to 16,133.23
NASDAQ: +0.70 percent to 4,267.55
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On the Dow
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) shed 1.8 percent on the day for the benchmark index’s worst performance, after its earnings statement for the recently-ended fourth quarter showed profits off by a whopping 21 percent, while Verizon Communications (VZ) was closed the session on top, adding nearly 3.5 percent after a controversial net neutrality ruling ended up in its favor.
On the S&P 500
Tech shares were the primary beneficiaries of the day’s rally, with Facebook (FB) adding 2.3 percent on the index’s heaviest trading. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) , and Intel (INTC) were in tow with substantial gains.
Shares of grocery stock Safeway (SWY) jumped a solid 2 percent after the company posted its Q4 earnings statement, and hinted that it may be putting itself up for sale.
On the NASDAQ
Tech stocks almost completely dominated the exchange, with a massive 98 percent leap for laser display firm Microvision (MVIS) , after Sony Corp. (SNE) announced that it will the company’s technology in a new HD projector product.
The bigger story by far however was Tesla Motors (TSLA) , who added another 8.4 percent by the bell after releasing yet another impressive earnings report, and undermining some of the rumours about the company’s possible acquisition by Apple Inc. (AAPL) . Small-cap drug manufacturer Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. (RPTP) saw shares 15 percent higher after releasing promising results from an 18-month study of a treatment for Huntington’s Disease that it currently has in development.