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S&P 500 hovers near record, Nasdaq drops as social media stocks decline

S&P 500 hovers near record, Nasdaq drops as social media stocks decline

22 Oct 2021

The S&P 500 was about unchanged a day after the benchmark closed at a record.

The broad market index hovered 0.3% above its record while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 129 points, or 0.3%.

However, the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.1% after poor results from two technology companies.

Shares of Intel retreated more than 10% following a weaker-than-expected sales report. The semiconductor company blamed an industry-wide chip shortage for its revenue miss.

Social media stocks also dropped after Snap said its advertising business declined due to Apple’s privacy changes. Snap shares sunk more than 20%. Facebook and Twitter pulled back 4% and 2%, respectively.

Despite these blips in the tech sector, overall earnings season has been terrific so far, boosting the broader market back to an all-time high following a two-month lull. So far for the third quarter earnings season, 84% of companies are reporting EPS above estimates, according to Refinitiv. Profits are on pace in the quarter to increase 33.7%, according to Refinitiv.

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In Thursday’s regular session, the S&P 500 notched both a fresh intraday high and new record close. The broad index rose 0.3% for its seventh consecutive positive session. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6%, while the Dow shed 6.26 points, or 0.02%.

All three major averages are on track to close the week higher for three-straight weeks of gains. The Dow touched an intraday record earlier in the week. On the month, all three indexes are up at least 5%.

Tesla shares extended their rally, rising more than 6 to a new intraday high. The stock closed 3% higher Thursday after posting record profit and revenue, along with strong margins.

“In a quarter where we thought things would slow down and there was concern about what profit margins were going to look like, these companies are still doing well,” said Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investments.

Strong jobs data also added to the positive market sentiment on Thursday. Initial jobless claims fell to a new pandemic low of 290,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday — down 6,000 from the previous week and lower than the 300,000 expected from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

One of investors’ fears during the market’s recent struggles was a China property crisis. However, investors got good news on that front overnight with China’s Evergrande reportedly paying a key interest payment that was due to foreign bondholders, staving off a default for the property developer.