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Nasdaq jumps to another record as Google surges

U.S. stocks closed mixed on Friday, but posted solid gains for the week, as strong earnings boosted the Nasdaq to another record high. ( Tweet This )

"Today Google is certainly in the spotlight because it's having one of it's best days in the history of Wall Street," said Daniel Deming, managing director at KKM Financial. "It's amazing you're seeing this market being able to recoup once (bad news) is taken away. ... I think this has been a classic study in how the psychology of the market really has a big impact."

The Nasdaq Composite jumped nearly 1 percent to a new closing and intraday high as Google Class A stock briefly surged more than 16.5 percent to above $700 a share. The combined rally in both Class C and Class A shares—with a trade volume about 7 times normal—for a one-day increase of $65 billion at the close was the biggest one-day gain in history, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Both Google Class A and Class C closed up more than 16 percent, with Class A at $699.62 a share and Class C at $672.93 a share. Google had its best week since 2004, helping the tech sector post its best week since 2011.

The Nasdaq gained 4.25 percent for the week, its best since October. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.84 percent for the week and the S&P 500 rose 2.41 percent, with both indices posting their best week since March 20.

Shares of Etsy leaped 30.60 percent in heavy volume trade after Google mentioned in its conference call that developers like the e-commerce site are seeing a boost in traffic as a result of deep linking.

Google Class A shares 5-day performance


"The sentiment on Google has been excessively negative," said Scott Kessler of S&P Capital IQ."The results were reassuring when I think about what the company communicated."

He also pointed out that in its earnings report after the close Thursday, the tech giant beat on earnings per share for the first time in nearly two years.

S&P Capital IQ downgraded its rating on Google to "hold" from "strong buy" in intraday trade Friday as the surge in the stock put it at a premium to the internet software and services subsector and an upside of only 3 percent to S&P's $715 price target.

The Dow Jones industrial average held lower, as Intel and Boeing weighed, while the S&P 500 came within 5 points of its record close as information technology leaped 1.75 percent but the 9 other sectors declined.

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The Dow transports ended 0.67 percent higher after briefly gaining more than 1 percent as Kansas City Southern jumped 6.5 percent despite the firm reporting a sharp decline in profits.

"There will be noise around (Greece) but I think it slowly fades." said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, noting that better-than-expected earnings are a big boost to stocks.

"I think all of that's reflecting an undervalued tech investor and pretty darn good earnings," he said of Thursday's record close on the Nasdaq Composite.

Futures held near earlier mixed levels after the June consumer price index (CPI) showed a fifth-straight month of increase with a rise of 0.3 percent, in-line with estimates. Stripping out food and energy costs, the core CPI rose 0.2 percent after rising 0.1 percent in May.

"I think the CPI report is everything that the Fed needs to keep on track to raising rates this year," said Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust Advisors. "I think broadly this is good for the economy."

He expects the first rate hike to come in September, followed by one in December.

"The strong dollar is a risk factor," said Marie Schofield, chief economist and senior portfolio manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

"I think (the Fed's) inclination is to hike. I think they expect to hike," she said. "But I think there is a missing link—that inflation is going to rise into the fall."

In other economic news, housing starts rebounded strongly in June, up 9.8 percent, and building permits surged to a near eight-year high. The preliminary read on the July consumer sentiment came in at 93.3.

"The focus today is pretty strong housing numbers. Both housing starts and building permits exceeded expectations," said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. "On the margin it helps support at least one rate hike in 2015. The markets are pricing in very little probability of 2 rate hikes this year."

Treasury yields fluctuated in a narrow range, with the 10-year yield holding around 2.35 percent. The 2-year yield traded near 0.67 percent after earlier hitting 0.68 percent.

The dollar gained against major world currencies, while the euro held near $1.08 after hitting its lowest level since May 27th.

The economic data come a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that U.S. interest rates are likely to rise this year depending on economic conditions.

The Fed has kept interest rates at a record low near zero since the global financial crisis and speculation about a rate hike has helped boost the dollar this year.

Stocks closed higher on Thursday, with earnings beats boosting the Nasdaq Composite to a record close.

"Today is likely to be another consolidation day for the S&P futures, which are overbought from an intraday perspective," BTIG Chief Technical Strategist Katie Stockton said in a note.

"The relief rally has lifted the NASDAQ 100 Index to a new multi-year high already, setting a good example for the SPX, which faces final resistance near 2,135," she said. "There are no signs of upside exhaustion beyond the intraday charts, so we think a bullish bias is still appropriate."

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"Earnings are coming in better than expected," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "I think it's a little bit of a pause. I don't see this (slight decline in some stocks) as significant in any way."

Overseas, European shares gave up early gains to end flat to slightly lower amid developments in the Greek debt negotiations. In Asia, stock markets closed mostly higher thanks to the positive lead from Wall Street overnight.

The European Council approved a 7.16 billion euro ($7.7 billion) short-term loan to Greece. Germany's parliament voted in favor of authorizing its finance ministry to negotiate a third bailout with Greece.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank said it would increase emergency liquidity to Greek banks, which will reopen on Monday after being closed for three weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 33.80 points, or 0.19 percent, at 18,086.45, with Intel leading decliners and IBM the greatest advancer.

The S&P 500 closed up 2.35 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,126.64, with energy leading nine sectors lower and information technology the only advancer.

The Nasdaq closed up 46.96 points, or 0.91 percent, at 5,210.14.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, held just above 12.

About two stocks declined for every advancer on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 872 million and a composite volume of 3.3 billion in the close.

High-frequency trading accounted for 49 percent of July-to-date's daily trading volume of about 6.6 billion shares, according to TABB Group. During the peak levels of high-frequency trading in 2009, about 61 percent of 9.8 billion of average daily shares traded were executed by high-frequency traders.

Crude oil futures settled down 2 cents, or 0.04 percent, at $50.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, WTI crude hit a three-month low of $50.14 a barrel. Gold futures for August delivery ended down $12.00 at $1,131.90 an ounce, the lowest since April 2010.