Stocks finished mixed Thursday as Wall Street looked beyond inflation concerns to focus on consumers heading into the holiday shopping season.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 60 points, or 0.17%, to 35,870, while the S&P 500 gained 0.34%, and the Nasdaq advanced 0.5% to fresh closing records.
Several retailers posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings. In addition, the U.S. Commerce Department said earlier this week that October retail sales rose 1.7% from the previous month to a collective 638.2 billion, well ahead of Wall Street's consensus forecast of a 1.2% gain.
"Better than expected earnings has been the name of the game this week for the market,' Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade Financial. "While investors may have entered earnings season with some trepidation, there are some clear signs that consumers are resilient and corporate balance sheets are strong despite pricing pressures."
And with jobless claims hovering around pre-pandemic lows, Loewengart added, "the question now is will the momentum continue—both in terms of our economic recovery and market trajectory."
Nvidia (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report was the Nasdaq's top gainer, finishing up 8.3%, after the chipmaker posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings and gave an upbeat near-term outlook and a bullish take on developing opportunities in the so-called "metaverse".
Deere & Co. (DE) - Get Deere & Company Report shares gained 1% after the agriculture equipment giant struck a final deal with the United Autoworkers Union that brings an end to a strike that lasted just over a month.
Cisco (CSCO ) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Reportwas the Dow's worst performer, dropping 5.5%, after the release of the company's first-quarter results, which showed its quarterly revenue of $12.9 billion missed estimates of $12.98 billion.
Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report surged to a fresh record high and closed up 2.9% amid reports that the world's biggest tech company is accelerating its plans to build a self-driving car, and could unveil its debut model as early as 2025.