US stocks gain on ‘spectacular’ earnings season

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street stocks advanced on Thursday (July 29) following solid US growth data and earnings, but Facebook dropped on disappointment over its outlook and Robinhood sank in its Nasdaq debut.

The US economy returned to its pre-pandemic level in the second quarter, but the 6.5 per cent annualised rate of expansion, while good, was slower than expected.

Meanwhile, Ford and Comcast were among the companies to advance after reporting better-than-expected results.

Earnings have been “spectacular,” said Art Hogan, chief strategist at National Securities, adding that investors were also pleased at the Federal Reserve’s restatement Wednesday of a pledge to maintain stimulus for longer.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 35,084.53, up 0.4 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent to 4,419.15, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.1 per cent to 14,778.26.

Among individual companies, Facebook joined the group of tech giants to report better-than-expected results.

But shares tumbled 4 per cent as it warned that growth was expected to slow due to regulatory actions and a tweak to the Apple iPhone operating software that could hurt its ad targeting.

Robinhood Markets dropped 8.4 per cent in the Nasdaq debut of the fast-growing stock trading app that boasts a young customer base, but is seen as facing outsized regulatory concerns.

Electric auto startup Nikola sank more than 15 per cent as US prosecutors brought fraud charges against company founder Trevor Milton.

Nikola said it no longer has any connection to Milton, but CFRA Research said the news underscores the litigation risk that still faces the company.

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