* Spending, trade lift U.S. fourth-quarter growth
* Google shares up after deal with Lenovo Group
* Facebook shares rally after results beat expectations
* Dow up 1 pct; S&P 500 up 1.3 pct; Nasdaq up 2.1 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Thursday, with the S&P 500 climbing more than 1 percent, buoyed by data showing the U.S. economy grew as expected in the fourth quarter.
Facebook Inc shares shot up 15.7 percent to $61.95, driving the Nasdaq up more than 2 percent by midday. The social media company delivered its strongest revenue growth in two years on Wednesday, beating analysts’ estimates.
The S&P 500 has turned positive for the week, thanks to the day’s gains. The broad market index, however, was still down nearly 3 percent for the month. Investors are concerned that recent bold efforts by central banks in emerging economies to stabilize their currencies may not be enough to staunch an exodus of funds from those markets.
“The worries about emerging markets could continue for several weeks if we don’t see some real stabilization,” said Randy Frederick, director of trading and derivatives at the Charles Schwab Center for Financial Research in Austin, Texas.
“There are going to be intermittent stable days like today, but things could easily turn.”
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 155.99 points or 0.99 percent, to 15,894.78. The S&P 500 gained 23.62 points or 1.33 percent, to 1,797.82. The Nasdaq Composite added 83.327 points or 2.06 percent, to 4,134.76.
Visa Inc shares climbed 2.5 percent to $222.54 after the world’s largest credit and debit card company reported a 9 percent increase in quarterly profit as more people used its cards.
Google Inc shares jumped 2.9 percent to $1,139.49 a day after Lenovo Group said it would buy the Internet search giant’s Motorola handset division for $2.91 billion.
Some analysts were recommending large-cap stocks in 2014 over small caps due to the sector’s high valuation and the impact of increased market volatility as the Federal Reserve continues to taper its stimulus efforts.
“Since the bear market bottom in March 2009, small cap stocks (as represented by the Russell 2000) have gained a total of 264 percent versus 201 percent for large caps (as represented by the S&P 500),” said Mary Ann Bartels, chief investment officer for portfolio solutions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, in a note to clients.
“However, after years of outperformance, we see a potential change in equity leadership in 2014. In our opinion, attractive relative valuations, improving global economic growth and higher long-term interest rates are all likely to benefit large caps more than their smaller counterparts.”
In economic reports, data showed U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, in line with expectations.
Separate data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the underlying trend suggested the labor market continued to heal.