NEW YORK: The S&P 500 hovered near record highs on Thursday, helped by gains in Facebook and upbeat economic data, while the Nasdaq eased as investors locked in profits from certain megacap technology firms.
Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher, with communication services stocks leading gains.
Facebook Inc jumped 5.8% to an all-time high after beating market expectations for quarterly revenue and profit, helped by a surge in digital ad spending during the pandemic and higher ad prices.
Apple Inc, however, slipped 0.5% despite posting sales and profit ahead of Wall Street estimates on strong iPhone and Mac sales.
Shares of other high-flying stocks including Microsoft Corp, Tesla Inc and Amazon.com Inc fell between 0.1% and 3.3%.
Of the 265 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 86.8% have topped analysts’ earnings estimates, with Refinitiv IBES data now predicting a 44.7% jump in profit growth.
At 12:40 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 39.06 points, or 0.12%, at 33,859.44, the S&P 500 was up 4.99 points, or 0.12%, at 4,188.17 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 52.91 points, or 0.38%, at 13,998.12.
McDonald’s Corp rose 0.8% after beating Wall Street estimates for comparable sales and returning to pre-pandemic levels of growth.