U.S. stock indices ended Thursday's trading up strongly, with the S&P 500 reaching a record high. Traders assessed new company reports and statistical data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index rose 332.26 points (1.08%) to 31055.86. Standard Poor's 500 rose 41.57 points (1.09%) to 3,871.74 points. The Nasdaq Composite added 167.20 points (1.23%) to 13777.74 points.
Shares of Yum! Brands Inc (NYSE:YUM). gained 1.7%. The U.S. restaurant operator cut net income by 32% in Q4, but adjusted earnings and revenue beat analysts expectations.
Merck Co (NYSE:MRK). stock price was down 1.7%. The pharmaceutical company's financial performance in Q4 2020 was worse than expected, but it gave an optimistic full-year outlook.
The stock price of General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) were down 0.2%. The U.S. automaker decided to suspend operations at three plants and slow production at another amid a global semiconductor shortage.
PayPal Holdings Inc. capitalisation rose 7.4%. The U.S. payments system recorded a three-fold increase in net profit in Q4 2020 on the back of accelerating adoption of digital payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
MetLife Inc.'s share price rose 6.1%. One of the largest publicly traded life insurance companies in the U.S. posted a marked decline in net income in Q4 due to losses from hedging adverse interest-rate risks.
Qualcomm Inc. lost 8.8% in price. One of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers increased revenue by 62% in fiscal Q1, but the figure fell short of market forecasts.
The market value of eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY). rose 5.3%. The world's largest online auctioneer reported better-than-expected financial results for Q4 2020, sending its stock soaring.