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S&P 500 ends at highest in two months; Alphabet up after hours

The S&P 500 closed at its highest in two months on Thursday as stronger-than-expected earnings from several top companies, including McDonald's, relieved investors' concerns about the profit outlook.

Buying accelerated after the close, with broad gains in tech and other companies that reported results, including Alphabet (GOOGL.O), up 9.6 percent at $746.78, and Microsoft (MSFT.O), up 7.2 percent at $51.50. Amazon (AMZN.O) rose 10.6 percent to $623.75 after it posted results.

Nasdaq 100 futures NQc1 jumped after the close as well, and were up about 17 percent from the 2015 intraday low hit on Aug. 24.

During the regular session, McDonald's (MCD.N) shares jumped 8.1 percent to $110.87, giving the Dow its biggest boost, after its quarterly results beat estimates as demand recovered in China.

EBay (EBAY.O) rose 13.9 percent to $27.58 after it reported better-than-expected results late on Wednesday.

Dow Chemical (DOW.N) rose 5.1 percent to $49.92 after its results, while the S&P materials index .SPLRCM jumped 2.8 percent and led the S&P sector gains along with...