Stocks rose on Thursday, but gave up some of their midday gains, as investors weighed results from a range of major companies along with new employment and GDP data. The Labor Department reported that both first-time and continuing unemployment claims fell from the prior week, and came in below consensus forecasts. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said that the U.S. economy expanded at a 4.0% rate in 4Q, slightly below the consensus forecast of 4.2%. For the full year, the economy contracted at a 3.5% annualized rate - the first full-year decline since 2009. On the earnings front, McDonald's posted disappointing 4Q sales and earnings, with international comp sales down 7.4%, reflecting the impact of coronavirus lockdowns in Europe. Tesla shares fell 3% after the automaker posted mixed fourth-quarter results and failed to provide specific sales guidance for 2021. The Dow rose 0.99%, the S&P 0.98%, and the Nasdaq 0.50%. Crude oil fell to $52 per barrel, while gold fell $4 to $1845 per ounce.
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