NEW YORK: The Nasdaq Composite has ended at a record high, boosted by results-related gains in Comcast, PayPal and Intuit, while the S&P 500 and the Dow are little changed.
The tech-heavy index is likely to extend its record-breaking string of gains as heavyweights Amazon and Alphabet jumped more than 4 per cent each after the bell, following stellar earnings.
Earnings were back in the spotlight, a day after the Trump administration unveiled its tax reform priorities without details on how the reform would be paid for, raising questions on whether deficit hawks in Congress would support it.
Comcast rose 2.1 per cent to $US39.59 after touching a record high of $US40.62 as strong subscriber growth brought a forecast-beating profit.
Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 12.4 per cent in the first quarter, the most since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.03 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.06 per cent while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.39 per cent to 6,048.94.
LONDON: European shares fell from 20-month highs on Thursday as weaker banks weighed, with the broader market little moved by a widely expected European Central Bank decision to stand pat on policy.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 per cent, after hitting a 20-month high in the previous session, France's CAC fell 0.3 per cent, off Wednesday's nine-year high, and Germany's DAX lost 0.23 per cent.
The ECB kept its ultra-easy policy stance in place as inflation continues to undershoot its target but explicitly acknowledged the vigour of the eurozone economy, now on its best run since the global financial crisis.
The news conference by Mario Draghi saw equity indexes see-sawing but remarks from the central bank governor failed to provide a clear direction for markets.
Besides the ECB, earnings were a key focus for equity traders in Europe. First-quarter earnings for STOXX 600 companies are expected to rise 5.5 per cent and revenues are seen up 5.7 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.
Britain's top shares index fell, snapping a three-day winning streak as miners and ex-dividends weighed.
Banks provided support as did a jump in Mediclinic's shares, however.
Britain's blue chip FTSE 100 index ended down 0.71 per cent at 7,237.17 points, underperforming a slight fall in the broader European market.
TOKYO: The Bank of Japan offered its most upbeat economic assessment in nine years but the Nikkei 225 fell 0.19 per cent.
But Hong Kong's benchmark stock index closed at its highest level in 20 months as investor sentiment remained supported by prospects of better global growth and receding worries about political risks in Europe.
The market also drew support from continuous flows of money from mainland Chinese investors.
The Hang Seng index rose 0.49 per cent to 24,698.48 points, its strongest close since August, 2015.
However, the China Enterprises Index lost 0.6 per cent to 10,261.25.
The blue-chip CSI300 index was flat, lifting just 0.03 per cent to 3,446.72 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.36 per cent to 3,152.19 points.
The two indexes plumbed more than two-month lows in early morning trade.
WELLINGTON: The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 19 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7354.62.