Nasdaq closes 1.7% higher as Tesla pops, Dow adds 200 points

Pro Picks: Watch all of Thursday's big stock calls on CNBC
Pro Picks: Watch all of Thursday's big stock calls on CNBC

Stocks rose Thursday as traders combed through the latest batch of corporate earnings and fourth-quarter gross domestic product that came in above expectations.

The Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.76% to settle at 11,512.41. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 205.57 points, or 0.61%, to end at 33,949.41, while the S&P 500 gained 1.10% to close at 4,060.43.

GDP data released Thursday showed the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.9% during the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said. That's above the Dow Jones estimate for 2.8%, but it represents a slight cooldown from the third-quarter reading.

"With today's better-than-expected GDP number, I think investors are thinking maybe we can get away with a pretty soft, mild recession that is not likely to throw us into an even deeper bear market when all is said and done," said Sam Stovall, CFRA Research's chief investment strategist.

A mixed earnings season trudged on, with strong results from Tesla giving the tech-heavy Nasdaq and electric vehicle stocks a boost. Tesla jumped nearly 11% afte