Nasdaq gains boosted by Tesla shares, dollar decline

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The Nasdaq Composite gained as Tesla shares rose on the back of better-than-expected earnings results, and as traders eyed a softer dollar that boosted tech stocks.

The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.76% in an up-and-down session. The S&P 500 gained 0.4%. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 30 points, or 0.1%.

Tesla shares surged 7% after the automaker reported stronger-than-expected earnings but shrinking automotive gross margins.

Meanwhile, the dollar declined following a surprise interest rate hike Thursday from the European Central Bank to combat inflation in the euro zone. The central bank raised rates for the first time in 11 years, raising them by 50 basis points.

A weakening dollar could boost shares of tech companies. A stronger greenback this year already hit foreign profits for a number of multinational firms this earnings season.

Despite those moves, some investors continued to point to weak economic reports and some disappointing second-quarter results as indicators that markets have yet to bottom as inflationary pressures persist.

“If overall financial conditions keep tightening on the current path, then that means that macro fair value for US equities will continue to trend lower,” said Huw Roberts, head of analytics at Quant Insight.

AT&T dropped 10% after lowering its full-year free cash flow guidance. Still, the telecommunications company exceeded expectations in its second quarter.

American Airlines fell 7% after cutting back on growth plans despite reporting earnings mostly in line with expectations. Still, the company forecasted a profit in the third quarter.

United Airlines’ results came in below expectations despite reporting that it returned to profitability during the second quarter. The stock fell 9%.

Travelers fell 3% after reporting a drop in investment income. The company reported better-than-expected profit and revenue in its most recent quarter.

Carnival dropped more than 14% after the cruise company announced that it was selling an additional $1 billion of stock.

Roughly 18% of S&P 500 have reported earnings for the second quarter. Of those companies, about 71% have beaten expectations, according to FactSet.

Meanwhile, Snap is expected to report after the bell.

Thursday’s moves come as Wall Street was enjoying a July rebound. All three major averages hit their highest levels in more than a month during Wednesday’s session, with the S&P 500 reaching its best closing level since June 9.

The Nasdaq Composite is still set for a gain this week, up about 3.9% for the week. Meanwhile, the Dow is nearly 1.3% higher for the week, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.3% thus far.

On the economic front, initial jobless claims continued their upward trend and touched their highest level since November 2021. Initial claims climbed to 251,000 for the week of July 16, up from an adjusted 244,000 claims from the prior week, in its third straight weekly gain.

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