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Dow, S&P 500 close at record highs, Nvidia fuels rally

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) closed at fresh record highs on Thursday. The major indices got a boost from Nvidia (NVDA), which reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Those earnings fueled optimism about the growth prospects for artificial intelligence which helped give tech stocks a boost.

Yahoo Finance's Jared Blikre recaps the market action.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Editor's note: This article was written by Stephanie Mikulich.

Video transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

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[BELL]

JULIE HYMAN: There's the closing bell on Wall Street. Let's do a quick check of the markets here. A lot of enthusiasm-- look at that-- on the floor there today at the NYSE. And why not, given what we are seeing in terms of the activity in today's session?

If you take a look at the major averages and where we closed out, big gains. Almost 3% on the NASDAQ composite, 2.96% gain to 16,041, just shy of a record, but certainly, heading in that direction. The S&P 500 up 2.1% on the day. The Dow up 1.2%, 456 points on the session. As we know, a lot of it having to do with the NVIDIA effect here, as we saw it rise a lot, and then tech rise a considerable amount along with it on the day, Josh.

JOSH LIPTON: A record day on Wall Street, at least for the Dow and the S&P 500. Jared Blikre is here with a look back at today's action. Jared.

JARED BLIKRE: That's right, Josh. Throw the NASDAQ 100 in there as well. And you can see the NASDAQ composite up 3%. Russell 2000 a little bit of a laggard, but I think investors will take the 8/10 of a percent. Meanwhile, the Dow up over a percent, and the S&P 500 about double that.

Not surprisingly, tech is the number one gainer today. In fact, the only outperformer, XLK, up 3.25%. Then we have consumer discretionary and communication services in the number two and three spots. Those are the megacap sectors. So, megacaps really pumping it today.

Then we got financials. Financials is the second or third best sector, going back to those October lows from last year. And industrials, industrials hitting, I believe, another record high today, along with health care. So, lots of records, lots of milestones being passed here. And let's dive into the NASDAQ 100 because that's where we see a lot of the megacap action concentrated. NVIDIA, 16% day. I'll do the market cap calculations as for how much a gain today, but it's going to be north of 350-- or $250 billion.

And actually, let's do this. Let's check into the market cap right now, shy of $2 trillion. And in fact, because we just got the updated share count this morning, 2 and 1/2 billion shares. We know that price is going to be $800. So, whenever we-- excuse me, whenever we hit 800, that's going to be the $2 trillion milestone for NVIDIA.

And then let's take a look at the leadership as well. And not a whole lot of red there. Let's take a look at the percentages. There we go. SOXX, that is a chip ETF. Not surprisingly, that is up 5% today. New York FANG-- that includes a lot of these high flyers-- that's up almost 5%.

Momentum trade. We got the NASDAQ 100, software, US internet, disruption, and I haven't looked at crypto all day. Let's take a brief look at Bitcoin. It was around 52,000 yesterday, around 52,000 today. So, not a whole lot of movement there, but still lots of excitement. You can see Ethereum up of over 3% over the trailing 24 hours.

And now let's get a final tally on the Dow, where we got Microsoft and Apple in the green. Salesforce up 3 and 1/2%. JP Morgan, I believe that's another record high, along with Visa. Each of those up over 1%. Guys.

JULIE HYMAN: Jared, I have an updated number for you on the market cap increase for NVIDIA.

JARED BLIKRE: Please.

JULIE HYMAN: $277 billion. Didn't you have your full screen there--

JARED BLIKRE: Yeah, there we go.

JULIE HYMAN: Your chart of 2-- there's the big red number.

JARED BLIKRE: 277.

JULIE HYMAN: 277. So, record value being added to a stock's market cap in a single day.

JARED BLIKRE: Thank you.

JULIE HYMAN: It's a big number. All right, thanks so much, Jared. Appreciate it.