Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • Stocks ended up Friday as strong data on U.S. economic growth pushed the Nasdaq and S&P 500 to record closings.
  • Ford  (F - Get Report) posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings following a surge in U.S. demand for pick-up trucks. The stock jumped 10.5%.
  • Amazon (AMZN - Get Report)  was up 2.5% after the online retailing giant beat Wall Street's earning expectations and matched analysts' revenue forecasts.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended up Friday as surprisingly strong first-quarter U.S. economic growth pushed Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to record closing highs.

The S&P 500 gained 0.47% to reach a record closing high of 2,939.88. The Nasdaq ended the day up 0.34% at 8,146.40, also a record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 81 points, or 0.31%, to 26,543.33. 

First-quarter gross domestic product expanded by 3.2%, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said, marking the first time since 2013 that first-quarter GDP topped 3%. Economists surveyed by data provider FactSet had projected a first quarter expansion of 2%.
 
"Q1 GDP growth is one of the great comeback stories of the year so far," said Michael Reynolds, investment strategy officer at Glenmede. "We started 2019 with fears that the longest government shutdown in history, along with a softening global growth outlook, would weigh on economic activity in the first quarter. 3.2% growth is a solid result, suggesting this long, late-stage expansion may be more resilient than feared."
 
However, David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets U.K., said "the number was good, but it might not have been as good as initially thought."
 
"The core PCE price advance reading dropped to 1.3%, and missed the forecast of 1.6%," Madden said. "Adding to that, the inventory spending was high, and fixed investment was weak, and that suggests that things are not as bullish as they seem. That being said, the U.S. economy is on track for a strong 2019."
 
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said in an interview with CNBC that the strength of the U.S. economy gives it the upper hand over China as the two countries try to work out a trade deal. Kudlow also said the U.S. economy was off to its best start to a year since 2015 and the Federal Reserve should add stimulus by cutting interest rates.
  
Shares of Intel tumbled 9% to $52.43 after the chipmaker beat Wall Street's first-quarter expectations but issued a weak outlook for the second quarter and year. 
 
Exxon Mobil ( XOM - Get Report) reported much softer-than-expected first quarter earnings Friday as weaker industry margins hit its bottom line. Shares fell around 2% to $80.49.
 
Meanwhile, rival Chevron  ( CVX - Get Report)  posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings but missed Wall Street's revenue target. Shares fell around .8% to $117.10.
 
Shares of Amazon ( AMZN - Get Report) rose nearly 2.5% to $1,950.63  after the online retailing giant beat Wall Street's earning expectations and matched analysts' revenue forecasts.
 
American Airlines ( AAL - Get Report) reported first-quarter profit above analysts' forecasts, but lowered its guidance as it continues to struggle with cancellations and other costs related to the grounding of its fleet of Boeing ( BA - Get Report) MAX 8 jets. Shares fell around 1% to $33.06.
 
Ford ( F - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings due to a surge in U.S. demand for its iconic pick-up trucks that offset weakening international demand. Shares were jumping more than 10.9% to $10.41. 
 
Amazon is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AMZN? Learn more now.
 
In other economic data, the   University of Michigan said the final reading of its consumer sentiment index in April was 97.2, down from 98.4 in March.
 
"The Index of Consumer Sentiment has moved sideways, recording only small monthly variations since (Donald) Trump first entered office," the university said in a statement.