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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."

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