Intel Surges on Earnings Report; Bitcoin Falls

U.S. stocks finished mixed Thursday, with the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq posting gains while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell.

Investors eyed strong earnings reports from U.S. companies, flocking to stocks that appear poised to benefit from a rebounding post-pandemic economy and President Joe Biden’s incoming administration.

Initial unemployment claims for regular state programs reached 900,000 for the week ending Jan. 16. That’s a decrease from the previous week but still elevated, highlighting a struggling labor market as shutdowns and restrictions hobble businesses. On a higher note, U.S. home construction rose in December to its highest rate in nearly 15 years. Single-family home demand drove gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points, or about 0.04%, to finish at 31,176.

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Intel surges. Intel Corp. (ticker: INTC) stock climbed about 6.5% on the early release of its quarterly and full-year 2020 financial results. The company is raising its 2021 dividend by 5% to $1.39 per share.

“We significantly exceeded our expectations for the quarter, capping off our fifth consecutive record year,” said Bob Swan, Intel’s CEO, in a statement. Despite that, Swan is on his way out. The company’s new CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who previously led VMWare ( VMW), is set to start in mid-February.

Investors are sweet on Apple. Shares of Apple ( AAPL) shot up nearly 4% Thursday amid investor optimism about its quarterly earnings report. There’s speculation that the iPhone 12 was one of Apple’s most successful product launches in years. The tech giant is slated to report its fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings Wednesday.

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