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S&P Closes at Record High in Earnings-Driven Rally; Tesla Boosts Nasdaq

The S&P finishes at a record high and the Dow closes the gap due to strong earnings reports.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high Thursday as strong earnings reports and lower-than-expected jobless claims helped stocks pulled off a late day rally.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had lagged throughout the session, ended off just 6 points, or 0.02% to 35,603, while the S&P 500, which also hit an intraday high late in the session, finished up 0.30% at 4,549.78. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.62%.

Tesla was a big factor in the Nasdaq's increase after the electric-vehicle maker posted record third-quarter earnings but said that ramping up production at new plants in Texas and Germany would pressure profit margins over the final months of the year.

Weekly jobless claims fell to 290,000 over the period ending Oct. 16, the Labor Department said, down 6,000 from the previous week and below the 300,000 Dow Jones estimate.

"Good jobs plus high inflation creates a significant one-two punch against the Fed’s accommodative stance," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial. 

"Easing and even rate increases down the road could start to be accelerated if we see more momentum like this, which perversely could create headwinds for the market," he said.

Keep in mind, Loewengart added, "we’re near or at record highs, so this could create some volatility, but the past couple weeks have really been all about earnings, so positive news on that front could keep the bullish momentum going."

Evergrande rattled markets late Wednesday after saying that it had terminated an agreement to sell a controlling stake in its property management unit to rival Chinese developer Hopson for about $2.6 billion.

Digital World Acquisition Corp.  (DWACU) - Get Free Report skyrocketed on news that Trump Media & Technology Group is going public by merging with the SPAC company. Former President Donald Trump is listed as the chairman of the group.

Trump's social media network was defaced and knocked offline just hours after its announcement.

Users were able to create fake accounts on a beta version of the site and posted a picture of a defecating pig to the “donaldjtrump” account, the Washington Post reported. 

Unilever  (UL) - Get Free Report, the world's biggest consumer brands company -- and the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream -- added its name to a list of companies, including Procter & Gamble  (PG) - Get Free Report and Nestle  (NSRGY) - Get Free Report, warning that higher input costs will both add to sticky inflation prospects and higher consumer prices.

"Inflation is very bullish for growth stocks, since companies, like Proctor & Gamble, will continue to raise prices to insure profitability," said Louis Navellier, chairman, founder, and chief investment officer of Navellier & Associates. "I should add that Proctor & Gamble will also likely repackage many of its goods in smaller packages, so consumers do not immediately realize that prices for its goods have increased."

IBM  (IBM) - Get Free Report shares slumped after another earnings report was marred by softer-than-expected revenues ahead of the planned separation of its legacy infrastructure business.