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S&P 500 and Dow indexes scale record highs

The DJIA index added 153.60 points, or 0.44%, to 35,085, the S&P 500 index gained 18.51 points, or 0.42%, to 4,419

US stocks finished session modestly higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow indexes scaling record highs, as investors hoped that the US Federal Reserve will not be in a hurry to begin scaling back its asset purchases following weaker than expected GDP growth in Q2. Meanwhile, upbeat earnings reports also buoyed investor sentiment.

At close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index added 153.60 points, or 0.44%, to 35,085. The S&P 500 index gained 18.51 points, or 0.42%, to 4,419. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 15.68 points, or 0.11%, to 14,778.

Total 9 of 11 S&P 500 sectors advance, with materials (up 1.08%) sector the top gainer, followed by financials (up 1.07%), energy (up 0.93%), consumer discretionary (up 0.84%) and industrials (up 0.77%) sectors. Communication services (down 0.91%) sector was worst performer, followed by real estate (down 0.24%) sector.

Ford Motor Co shared climbed 4.0% to reach a more than three-week high as it lifted its profit forecast for the year, while KFC-owner Yum Brands Inc gained 5.2% after beating quarterly sales expectations.

Shares in Facebook Inc dropped 4% as the company warned revenue growth would decelerate significantly following Apple Inc's recent update to its iOS operating system that would impact its ability to target ads.

In economic news, US GDP climbed 6.5% in the second quarter - US real GDP soared 6.5% in the second quarter following a 6.3% rise in the first quarter, a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday showed. The GDP growth in the second quarter reflected rise in consumer spending, non-residential fixed investment, exports, and state and local government spending. The report showed consumer spending surged 11.8% in the second quarter after soaring by 11.4% in the first quarter.

The report also showed core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, spiked by 6.1% in the second quarter after climbing by 2.7% in the first quarter.