US close: Markets rise as Facebook gives Nasdaq a boost

Sharecast

LONDON (ShareCast) - - Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) , Visa (NYSE: V - news) impress with results
- US GDP up 3.2 per cent in Q4, as expected
- Jobless claims, pending home sales miss forecasts

Dow Jones: 0.70%
Nasdaq: 1.77%
S&P 500: 1.13%

US markets put in a decent performance on Thursday with the Nasdaq registering its best one-day gain since mid-October 2013 after upbeat quarterly results from Facebook.

Markets were bouncing back after a slump on Wednesday which saw the S&P 500 drop to its lowest level in over two months after the Federal Reserve decided to scale its monthly asset purchases by a further $10bn to $65bn after finding that economic growth had "picked up in recent quarters".

While the ongoing turmoil in emerging markets weighed on European markets again throughout Thursday's session, US stocks were boosted by in-line growth data from closer to home.

The Commerce Department revealed that US gross domestic product growth was 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013, which was "pretty impressive" when considering that the three-week government shutdown occurred at the start of the period, according to Paul Ashworth, Chief US Economist at Capital Economics.

While this represented a slowdown from the 4.1% expansion in the third quarter, the two periods combined showed the best back-to-back increase in growth in nearly two years.

US benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were trading broadly flat at around 2.69% during the session, compared with levels over 3% at the start of the year.

"The slow fall in US bond yields appears to be as a result of money flowing out of emerging markets and back into US treasuries, which is likely to continue to act as an internal boost to the US economy, particularly if rates continue to fall," said Chief Market Analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets

However, not all economic data today met forecasts, as the Labor Department released a market report which revealed 19,000 more jobless claims in the week ended January 25th. Weekly initial jobless claims reached 348,000, higher than the consensus forecast of 330,000 and the previous week's 329,000.

Meanwhile, pending home sales fell by a worse-than-expected 8.7% in December as housing-market activity was dampened by the poor weather last month. Analysts were expecting a fall of just 0.3% month-on-month, in line with the 0.3% decline in November.

Facebook, Visa

Facebook rallied after the social network reported a 63% rise in fourth-quarter revenue to $2.59bn, surpassing analysts' estimates of $2.35bn.

Visa gained as the debt and credit card network reported profit for the first quarter that beat forecasts.

Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) was higher after Lenovo Group (Berlin: LHL.BE - news) agreed to buy the Motorola Mobility mobile-phone business from the search engine for $2.91bn.

Potash Corp. declined after it forecast 2014 profit that fell short of market expectations.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NasdaqGS: ALXN - news) surged after a lower-than-anticipated tax rate helped fourth-quarter earnings and 2014 guidance beat forecasts.


S&P 500 - Risers
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $162.00 +21.14%
Pitney Bowes Inc (NYSE: PBI - news) . (PBI) $25.85 +18.96%
Harman International Industries Inc. (HAR) $102.34 +17.39%
Facebook Inc. (FB) $61.08 +14.23%
Cameron International Corp. (CAM (Madrid: CAM.MC - news) ) $60.33 +6.35%
AutoNation Inc (NYSE: AN - news) . (AN) $49.89 +6.13%
Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $60.97 +5.19%
Ball Corp (NYSE: BLL - news) (BLL (Shenzhen: 002601.SZ - news) ) $51.60 +5.16%
Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $403.01 +4.90%
ProLogis (PLD) $38.81 +4.86%

S&P 500 - Fallers
Adt Corp (ADT) $31.40 -16.95%
Citrix Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CTXS - news) . (CTXS) $53.29 -7.48%
Symantec Corp. (SYMC) $22.38 -7.33%
Whirlpool Corp (NYSE: WHR - news) . (WHR) $132.22 -6.64%
Best Buy Co. Inc (NYSE: BBY - news) . (BBY) $22.72 -5.21%
Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR) $57.44 -5.01%
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE: CLF - news) . (CLF) $19.26 -4.04%
Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) $24.10 -3.10%
Altria Group Inc (NYSE: MO - news) . (MO) $35.35 -2.96%
Airgas Inc (Frankfurt: AAS.F - news) . (ARG) $105.44 -2.88%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE - news) . (NKE) $73.94 +3.02%
Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT - news) . (CAT (Taiwan OTC: 4990.TWO - news) ) $93.20 +2.85%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $73.22 +2.65%
Merck & Co. Inc (Xetra: 6MK.DE - news) . (MRK) $53.51 +2.49%
Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE - news) . (PFE) $30.82 +2.36%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $72.80 +2.16%
Visa Inc. (V) $220.88 +1.73%
Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CSCO - news) . (CSCO) $21.98 +1.51%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $61.54 +1.37%
American Express Co. (AXP) $86.62 +1.25%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $126.53 -2.50%
3M Co. (MMM) $128.05 -1.69%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $93.99 -1.18%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $76.87 -0.99%
Verizon Communications Inc (LSE: VZC.L - news) . (VZ) $47.63 -0.13%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $162.00 +21.14%
Facebook Inc. (FB) $61.08 +14.23%
Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $403.01 +4.90%
Tesla Motors Inc (Xetra: A1CX3T - news) (TSLA) $182.84 +4.34%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $82.15 +4.22%
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Class A (FOXA) $32.02 +4.20%
Biogen Idec Inc (NasdaqGS: BIIB - news) . (BIIB) $318.28 +4.16%
Cerner Corp (Frankfurt: CRE.F - news) . (CERN) $56.27 +4.11%
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NasdaqGS: REGN - news) . (REGN) $292.97 +4.06%
Wynn Resorts Ltd (NasdaqGS: WYNN - news) . (WYNN) $201.51 +3.94%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Citrix Systems Inc. (CTXS) $53.29 -7.48%
Symantec Corp. (SYMC) $22.38 -7.33%
Celgene Corp (Berlin: CG3.BE - news) . (CELG) $153.98 -2.81%
Tractor Supply Company (NasdaqGS: TSCO - news) (TSCO) $67.46 -2.22%
Seagate Technology Plc (STX (KSE: 011810.KS - news) ) $53.10 -1.03%
Liberty Media Corporation (NasdaqGS: LMCA - news) - Class A (LMCA) $132.15 -0.65%
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NasdaqGS: BBBY - news) . (BBBY) $64.10 -0.42%
Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $37.23 -0.21%
Apple Inc (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) . (AAPL) $499.78 -0.19%
Mondelez International Inc (Stuttgart: KTF.SG - news) . (MDLZ) $32.93 -0.18%

BC

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