Day Traders Diary

4/29/21

The major averages rose to record levels on Thursday after blowout earnings results from two of the biggest tech companies in the world: Apple and Facebook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up about 240 points. The S&P 500 advanced 0.7% to finish the day at a new closing high.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which began the day up 1%, underperformed with a gain of just over 0.2% or 31 points.

Apple said that sales jumped 54% during the quarter, with each product category seeing double-digit growth. The company also said it would increase its dividend by 7%, and authorized $90 billion in share buybacks. Apple shares were up 0.55%.

Thursday marks President Joe Biden's 100th day in office. On Wednesday evening, he made his first address to a joint session of Congress where he pushed his so-far popular agenda, which includes a $2 trillion infrastructure plan as well as a freshly unveiled, $1.8 trillion plan for families, children and students.

Thursday is also the busiest day of the quarterly earnings season, with roughly 11% of the S&P 500 slated to provide quarterly updates.

McDonald's published its results before the opening bell and told investors that its sales have finally topped pre-pandemic levels. The Dow component also raised its outlook for systemwide sales growth. Yet the shares were last little changed.

Caterpillar, which also reported on Thursday, lost 2.6% while Merck dropped 5% following disappointing results. Amazon, Gilead Sciences, Twitter, U.S. Steel and Western Digital will post results after the market closes.

Facebook's revenue jumped 48%, driven by higher-priced ads, sending its stock up as much as 7.3% and to a record high. Qualcomm shares added 4% after reporting a 52% jump in revenue.

Economic data released Thursday gave investors an update on the progress of the economic recovery.

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