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April 24 2015, 08.30am GMT


The S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq both closed at record highs after companies successfully reporting their first quarter earnings which were better than expected.

Thursday was a good day for U.S stocks with most stocks closing at a high. Two of the main benchmark indices that performed exceptionally well and closed at a record high included the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) and the S&P 500 index (SPX). At the close of trading, the Nasdaq managed to beat its previous high of 5,048.2 which was set back in March 2000. The tech heavy index closed at 5,056.06, up 0.41 percent or 20.89 points.

According Ryan Larson who is the current head of U.S. equity trading for RBC Global Asset Management, U.S. stocks closed at a high after earning reports were released which were better than expected. Added to this, these companies managed to deliver on expectations despite the low oil prices and the strong U.S. dollar (USD) which has positively impacted the markets.

Other winners on Thursday included the S&P 500 which closed at 2,112.93, up 0.24% or 4.97 points. Earlier in the trading day, the S&P 500 had surpassed its intraday record reaching 2,119.59 which was above its last record of 2,117.39 which was set in March. The top performing sector of the index was telecommunications while industrials and consumer staples lagged on the day. Also, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 18,058.69, up 11%. IBM (IBM) was the top gainer which rose by 2.95% after a spike of more than 3.5% after the release of their first quarter earnings reported on Monday.

Ahead of the Apple Watch release expected later today, Apple (AAPL) closed nearly 1% up. The iPhone giant is also expected to release first quarter earnings report on Monday after the close of trading. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq iShares biotechnology ETF (IBB) closed up more than 1% which also boosted the Nasdaq index.

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