US stocks rise on GDP report, Facebook drives Nasdaq jump

  • AFP, New York
  • |
  • Updated: Jan 30, 2014 09:37 IST

US stocks moved higher on Thursday in early trade following solid US economic growth data, while Facebook's 14% gain on strong profits drove a 1.1% surge in the Nasdaq.

About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 48.87 (0.31%) to 15,787.66.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 12.16 (0.69%) to 1,786.36, while the tech-rich Nasdaq advanced 46.29 (1.14%) to 4,097.66.

US gross domestic product grew 3.2% in the fourth quarter, above the 3.0% expected by analysts. Increases in net exports and consumer spending offset the effects of the US government shutdown.

Analysts said investor mood remains brittle after Wednesday's losses in Europe and the United States amid after growing anxiety about emerging economies.

"Things look okay at the moment, yet market sentiment has become somewhat frazzled with the increased volatility, the uncertainty surrounding emerging markets, and the simple recognition that 2014 has gotten off to a weak start," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

Facebook share jumped 14.1% after earnings rose eight-fold due to a big gain in advertising revenue.

Rival social network Twitter rose 6.7%.

Dow member ExxonMobil fell 1.9% after earnings missed expectations by a penny at $1.91 per share due to lower oil and gas production and weak refining margins.

Visa, another Dow component, advanced 1.1% after earnings of $2.20 per share exceeded estimates by four cents.

Google rose 2.1% after announcing the $2.9 billion sale of its Motorola handset unit to Chinese technology giant Lenovo.

Internet security firm Symantec fell 7.9% after forecasting sales of $1.62-$1.66 billion in the upcoming quarter, on the low end of expectations.

Athletic apparel company Under Armour shot up 23.2% after earnings of 59 cents per share topped expectations by eight cents on strong sales increases.

Colgate-Palmolive rose 0.8% after earnings of 75 cents per share bested expectations by a penny. The company confirmed expectations for rising profit margins and "strong" earnings growth.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.71% from 2.68%, while the 30-year rose to 3.65% from 3.62%. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

 

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