U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, with the Nasdaq setting another record as investors cheered major earnings reports. ( Tweet This )
"It looks to me like the bloodless verdict of the market is earnings are acceptable," said Maris Ogg, president of Tower Bridge Advisors.
The Nasdaq Composite closed at a record for the second day in a row. The index set its first record close in 15 years on Thursday, topping the previous high from March 2000.
The S&P 500 ended mildly higher for a new record close. Earlier, the index also touched a new intraday high, while the Dow struggled to shake off a decline as its top-weighted stocks lagged.
"Obviously it's a hot Nasdaq market making new highs at the close yesterday and at new highs today with leadership in big stocks," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at RW Baird. "The message is the Nasdaq is making new highs and this time it's different."
Microsoft surged more than 10 percent to lead blue chips gains. The company posted earnings and revenue that beat estimates after the close Thursday, as the firm shook off the negative impact of the strong U.S. dollar with growth in hardware sales and commercial cloud computing.
Amazon.com closed up 14 percent after spiking 15.5 percent to a new intraday high. The stock gained despite reporting an expected decline in earnings and light guidance. Revenue did beat expectations with a boost from the e-commerce firm's primary market, North America.
"It shows me there's still a lot of speculation in the market," Bittles said, noting the inability of the Dow and S&P to reach the same record levels as quickly as the Nasdaq.
The Dow Jones industrial average still had more than 1 percent to go before surpassing its record close.
Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG, said in a note that "we expect a breakout to be confirmed in the days ahead, allowing the SPX to resolve its triangle pattern to the upside. Typically, triangles give way to sharp moves, and a measured move price projection would get the SPX to about 2180. Notably, the (Nasdaq Composite) is approaching final resistance at its 2000 high—a breakout would clear an important psychological hurdle from the chart."