Shares closed at new highs for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices on Friday, as investors sought strong corporate earnings, regulatory approval of the T-Mobile and Sprint mergers and better growth than expected.
How are the most important benchmarks going?
Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA, + 0.19%
ended 51.47 points, or 0.2%, at 27192.45, while the S&P 500 index
SPX, + 0.74%
closed 22.19 points, or 0.7%, at 3,025.86. Nasdaq Composite
COMP, + 1.11%
advanced 91.67 points, or 1.1%, at 830.21.
In addition to the closing high, the S&P 500 recorded a new intraday record of 3,027.98 while the Nasdaq saw a record intraday high of 8,339.64.
The S&P 500 has risen in six of the past eight weeks and is now up 20.7% for the year to date, while the Nasdaq is up 25.5% for the year.
Read: Last time the S&P 500 boasted of a rich YTD return, the Titanic was in theaters
What drives the market?
GOOG, + 10.45% ,
SBUX, + 8.94% ,
MCD, + 0.53%
TWTR, + 8.92%
all reported better than expected earnings late Thursday or early Friday and brought the market up.
To date, 44% of S&P 500 index companies have reported quarterly earnings for the second quarter and 77% reported stronger earnings than expected, according to FactSet.
The US Justice Department officially approved the merger between T-Mobile US Inc
TMUS, + 5.43%
and Sprint Corp
S, + 7.39%
DISH, + 0.87%
which resulted in gains for all three stocks.
On the economic front, the US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.1% in the second quarter, according to the Department of Commerce, declining from 3.1% in the first three months of the year, but faster than 1.9% expected by economists , per a MarketWatch poll.
Some of the details in the report were stronger than the headline figure, and consumer spending rose to 4.3% growth from a 1.1% gain in the first quarter. However, corporate investment shrank 0.8%, the biggest fall in 3½ years, a figure likely to give enough cause for concern to keep the Federal Reserve on track to deliver an interest rate cut when it meets next week.
"The data shows clear signs of a branched economy," Glenmede investment strategy officer Michael Reynolds wrote in an email. "Industry weakness has weighed in on components such as inventory and fixed investment, but the healthy US consumer has helped boost the economy as seen in the steady reading of personal consumption spending."
Read: The economy slows to 2.1% growth in the spring when the business signs up, GDP shows
Despite better GDP data than expected, Fed is fully expected to reduce the interest rate by at least one quarter when it meets July 30 -31.
"The Fed still has the green light to cut interest rates," said Stephen Gallagher, United States chief financial officer at the Société Générale.
"It is quite difficult to withdraw from interest rate signaling and the risk is still there," Gallagher said.
Next week also brings resumption of US-China trade talks in Shanghai, but National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow told CNBC he would not expect "a big deal" soon.
Which shares are in focus?  Shares for Google Parents Alphabet Inc.
GOOG, + 10.45%
GOOGL, + 9.62%
rose 10% Friday after reporting second quarter results that topped Wall Street's earnings and projected revenue and announced a $ 25 billion buyback program.
INTC, -1.09%  Stocks were up after the chip giant had a big earnings hit and lifted the outlook for the year late Thursday.
Shares of Social Media Company Twitter Inc.
TWTR, + 8.92%  jumped 9% after the company outperformed user and revenue growth.
Shares of Amazon.com Inc.
fell after the e-commerce giant reported results late Thursday that ended a year-long run of record quarterly profits.
Coffee Distributor Starbucks Corp.
SBUX, + 8.94%
shares ended up with 9% after passing profit and sales forecasts late on Thursday and lifting the guidelines for the year.
Dow component McDonald & # 39; s Corp .
MCD, + 0.53%
reported revenue and earnings in the second quarter that beat expectations and sent the stock up
Shares of drugmaker AbbVie Inc .
ABBV, + 1.65%
rose after reporting other quarterly results on Friday.
How did other markets trade?
Return on the 10-year US Treasury
was little changed around 2.08%.
In commodity markets, the price of crude oil was
CLU19, + 0.25%
rose modestly while gold prices
GCQ19, + 0.27%
was around $ 1,419.10 per ounce.
The US Dollar Index
DXY, + 0.09%
rose 0.2% to 98 after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC that the administration had ruled out intervention in foreign exchange markets after a meeting with government officials and financial advisers. The British pound fell to a new two-year low of $ 1.2386.
Asian markets closed mixed overnight Thursday, with China's CSI 300
000300, + 0.19%
index increases 0.2%, Japan's Nikkei 225
and added 0.5% and Hong Kong's Hang Bed
and lost 0.7%.