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Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow close at record highs as Apple and Qualcomm rally

  • The Nasdaq outperformed the S&P and the Dow, rising 0.7 percent.
  • Apple shares rose more than 2 percent after the tech giant reported quarterly earnings that blew expectations out of the water.
  • Qualcomm, meanwhile, rose more than 12 percent as Broadcom considers acquiring the chipmaker.

U.S. equities closed at record highs on Friday on the back of a sharp rally in Apple shares. Qualcomm also jumped as Broadcom considers acquiring the chipmaker.

The Nasdaq composite rose 0.7 percent to 6,764.44, an all-time high. Apple shares rose more than 2 percent after the tech giant reported quarterly earnings that blew expectations out of the water. The company also issued strong guidance for the current quarter. Apple's market cap came within $6 billion of reaching $900 billion.

"The Company continues to drive excellent services growth, which creates a more stable profit pool than hardware, and appears well positioned to increase gross margins through FY18," KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Andy Hargreaves said in a note.

Qualcomm, meanwhile, rose more than 12 percent as Broadcom considers acquiring the chipmaker.

The S&P 500 also finished at a record, climbing 0.3 percent to 2,587.84 with the technology sector as the leading advancer. Qualcomm was the best performer on the index.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 22.93 points, notching a record close at 23,539.19, with Apple leading advancers.

The Dow and the S&P 500 also posted their eighth straight weekly gain; the Nasdaq notched its sixth consecutive weekly gain.

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Friday was also a big day for Wall Street on the data front. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs last month. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 310,000 jobs. The report also showed average hourly earnings remained flat for October.

The reaction in the futures market was muted, however, as futures for the three major indexes moved marginally after the report was released.

"The market thinks this is a good report overall," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "There are still a few numbers that need to be normalized because of the hurricanes but the overall trend remains on the right track."

Stocks came off a wild session as the major indexes gyrated Thursday following the release of the House tax reform bill and President Donald Trump's nomination of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to become the next head of the central bank.

The plan would permanently lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent. It would also keep retirement savings plans like the popular 401(k) intact. The plan would also cut mortgage interest deductions in half. Also, it lowers the tax rate on repatriated cash to 12 percent.

"The market recognizes this is the first step in a very long process," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

On the Fed front, Powell's nomination for Fed chair was widely expected. If confirmed, Powell would succeed Janet Yellen, who took over the post in 2014.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Apple's market cap fell short of $900 billion.