The day's rebound pushed the S&P 500 back into positive territory
for the week, but the index was still down 2.9 percent for the
Facebook Inc <FB.O> shares jumped 14.1 percent to end at $61.08,
hitting a lifetime high of $62.50 during the session and supporting
both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The social media company delivered its
strongest revenue growth in two years on Wednesday, beating
Google Inc <GOOG.O> shares jumped 2.6 percent to $1,135.39, a day
after Lenovo Group <0992.HK> said it would buy the Internet search
giant's Motorola handset division for $2.91 billion.
After the closing bell, Google's shares extended gains by 4.6
percent when the company reported quarterly revenue that beat
The S&P 500 tech sector index <.SPLRCT> finished the regular session
up 1.5 percent, ranking among the day's best-performing sectors. All
10 S&P sector indexes ended the day higher.
On Wednesday, each of the three major U.S. stock indexes dropped 1
percent after the Federal Reserve announced it would reduce its
monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion.
Turmoil in emerging markets eased on Thursday as the hard-hit
Turkish lira and South African rand rebounded.
"I think the rhetoric about emerging market currencies had settled
down some ... I'm not surprised to see the market really bounce
back, especially in sectors that had been pretty hard hit," said Tim
Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford
Hills, New York.
Adding to support, data showed U.S. gross domestic product grew at
an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, the Commerce
Department said on Thursday, in line with expectations. Strong
household spending and robust exports supported the growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 109.82 points or 0.70
percent, to end at 15,848.61. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 19.99 points
or 1.13 percent, to finish at 1,794.19, its biggest daily percentage
gain since December 18.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 71.69 points or 1.77 percent, to
close at 4,123.13, its best daily percentage rise since October 10.
Shares of Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> slid after the bell, tumbling 7.5
percent to $373 after the world's largest Internet retailer reported
sales for the holiday quarter with less growth than some had hoped
for outside North America. During the regular session, Amazon's
stock had jumped 4.9 percent to close at $403.01.
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After-hours gainers included Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc <CMG.N>,
whose shares jumped 9.5 percent to $541 following the release of the
burrito chain's results. Shares of video game maker Zynga Inc <ZNGA.O>
surged 19.9 percent to $4.27 after the company said it would slash
its workforce by 15 percent.
During the regular session, shares of Qualcomm <QCOM.O> rose 3
percent to $73.26, a day after the leading mobile chipmaker reported
results. Qualcomm bumped up its full-year earnings outlook.
Among other gainers, Visa Inc <V.N> shares climbed 1.7 percent to
$220.88 after the world's largest credit and debit card company
reported a 9 percent increase in quarterly profit as more people
used its cards.
The day's economic data also showed the number of Americans filing
new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last
week, but the underlying trend suggested the labor market continued
Some analysts were recommending large-cap stocks in 2014 over small
caps due to the sector's high valuation and the impact of increased
market volatility as the Fed continues to taper its stimulus
"Attractive relative valuations, improving global economic growth
and higher long-term interest rates are all likely to benefit large
caps more than their smaller counterparts," said Mary Ann Bartels,
chief investment officer for portfolio solutions at Bank of America
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, in a note to clients.
Volume was just below average for the month. About 6.8 billion
shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, compared with the average of
6.9 billion so far this month, according to data from BATS Global
Advancers outnumbered decliners on the New York Stock Exchange and
the Nasdaq by slightly more than 3 to 1.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)
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