Tech stocks lead gains as Meta rallies, Fed hopes rise: Stock market news today

Stocks pared early gains Thursday, even as hopes built that the Federal Reserve is done hiking rates this year and techs got a boost from a rally in Meta (META) post-earnings.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) was up 0.5% in midday trading, down from a bigger jump early in the session. It was helped by a surge in the Facebook parent’s shares after its second quarter earnings beat Wall Street estimates.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was up 0.2% as investors braced for another heavy day of earnings. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) lagged below the flatline as the index looked to extend its win streak to 14 sessions, which would be the longest in over a century.

The Fed’s interest rate rise on Wednesday didn’t rock the boat, given it was widely expected. But one issue is still in focus: when another increase is coming. Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed hasn’t made any decision on whether to hike in September — when its next meeting takes place — and some optimism is growing that it could mean no more this year.

Economic data out later Thursday could drive stocks, given Powell stressed the central bank will watch that information to guide its policymaking. Early Thursday, the government reported that GDP rose at a quicker pace than economists expected in the second quarter of the year.

Plus, there’s another heavy day of quarterly results ahead, with McDonald’s (MCD) reporting strong results. Other highlights are Mastercard (MA), Southwest (LUV), Ford (F), and Intel (INTC).

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