S&P 500, Nasdaq Close at Records as Tech Flexes Muscles

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Investing.com – The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs Thursday on a climb in consumer discretionary stocks as retailers rallied and a jump in tech stocks led by Apple and chip makers. 

The S&P 500 rose 0.34% to close above its prior all-time closing high of 4,701.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.17%, or 60 points, the Nasdaq added 0.45% to close at record 15,993.71.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) climbed to close at record highs following a Bloomberg report that the tech giant was stepping up plans to develop its self-driving electric vehicle and have it on the road by 2025.

The news spurred bullish bets on tech, with some on Wall Street forecasting that entry into the EV market could add at least $30 per share to Apple’s share price.

“We continue to believe its a matter of when, not if, Apple enters the EV race and this will add another $30+ per share of TAM [total addressable market] to the Apple growth story over the next few years given the golden age of EV transformation on the horizon,” Wedbush said in a note.

Semiconductor stocks also played a role in the broader market’s advance, underpinned by Nvidia.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) reported third-quarter results that topped analysts’ estimates following record growth in its gaming and data center businesses. Its shares rose more than 8%.

Consumer discretionary, which has led the gains this week, continued to be supported by surging retail stocks following better-than-expected quarterly results. 

Bath Body Works (NYSE:BBWI) jumped more than 5% after delivering better-than-expected fourth-quarter guidance following third-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates.

Analysts on Wall Street welcomed bullish guidance, with Credit Suisse lifting its price target on the stock to $76 from $67 to reflect the company’s “strong consistency in driving revenue growth.”

Macy’s (NYSE:M) also reported a third-quarter beat on both the top and bottom lines, sending its share price up more than 21%.

Gap (NYSE:GPS), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) also helped the melt-up in consumer discretionary.

Energy, meanwhile, continued to lose steam even as oil prices shrugged off expectations for a boost in global supplies after China said it would tap its crude reserves to cool surging energy prices.

On the economic front, jobless claims fell less than expected, while the Philly Fed manufacturing index hit its highest level since March 1973.

The November Philly Fed index jumped to 39.0 from 23.8, well above the consensus of 24.0.

The Labor Department reported that 268,000 people filed for unemployment insurance in the week ended Nov. 13, missing economists’ forecasts for a fall to 260,000.

In IPO news, Sweetgreen (NYSE:SG) jumped more than 300% in its public market debut. Shares of the salad chain had opened at $52.