U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds rallied Friday as strong second quarter earnings and fresh economic data helped fuel a risk-on mood.
On Friday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was up 1.1%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) was flat and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) was 0.6% higher.
Investors grew more confident after the Commerce Department revealed data early Friday that showed gross domestic product grew at a 2.1% annual rate in the second quarter, beating out economists’ expectations of a 2% expected growth rate, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“GDP growth was not fabulously good and not fabulously bad. It builds a case for the Fed to cut rates by 25 basis points and then sit on the sidelines for the remainder of this year,” Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management, told Reuters.
The economic figures were supported by U.S. shoppers as consumer spending, which makes over two-thirds of the economy, posted the strongest pace of growth since late 2017.
Meanwhile, second-quarter earnings helped bolster activity in recent trading.
“It’s just really a reaction to the big three tech names: Amazon, Alphabet and Intel,” Darrell Cronk, chief investment officer of Wells Fargo Wealth and Investment Management, told the WSJ, adding that he is still optimistic about tech companies’ trajectories.
As we finish two weeks into the second-quarter earnings season, about 75% of the 218 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far have beat profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
“It’s a tech-driven market, many of the names are able to grow earnings and revenue at a significant pace as they get deeper into the global economy and they continue to be the best place to be in, in the equity market,” Nolte added.
Growing optimism that the Federal Reserve will cut its benchmark rates at its upcoming policy meeting next week have also fueled the momentum in stocks this month, pushing Wall Street to record levels.
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