The S&P 500 closed at a record on Thursday as strong first-quarter GDP data fueled economic optimism. Major US stock indexes were also lifted by blockbuster earnings from tech giants Apple and Facebook. Economic growth has been boosted by a trifecta of unprecedented stimulus, vaccine rollouts, and an accelerated reopening. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US stocks closed higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 notching a new record, as new data showed that the US economy is nearing full recovery.

Gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 6.4% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department announced on Thursday. The expansion ranks as the second-strongest pace of quarterly growth since 2003, dwarfed only by a record-breaking rebound in the third quarter of 2020.

Blockbuster earnings reports from tech giants Facebook and Apple also contributed to the record-setting gains in US equities. Facebook rose as much as 8% after reporting first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street analyst estimates. Apple climbed as much as 3% before ending the day flat after beating expectations, increasing its dividend, and boosting its stock-buyback program.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Thursday:

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“The US economy is going to enjoy a few more months of tremendous data releases on vaccinations, stimulus checks, and pent-up consumer demand,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note. “The second half outlook is up in the air, but for now everyone wants to ride this last big wave of growth.”

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose after the GDP announcement and is now headed for its biggest weekly increase since March 5. The yield on the benchmark note climbed to 1.63%. Yields move inversely to prices.


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