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Stock Market Today: Wall Street surpasses its latest milestone as S&P 500 closes above 5,000

New York: US stocks saw further rise on Friday wall Street till its latest record, milestone And victorious week.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6% and finished the day above the 5,000 level for the first time. It marks the 10th record in less than a month for the index, which closed out its 14th winning week in the last 15, continuing the spree that started around Halloween.
The Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.2% to within 0.4% of its all-time high, set in 2021. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged a day after setting its latest record. It slipped 54 points or 0.1%.
Milestones like the S&P 500 at 5,000 don’t hold much significance for a market that must move on hard data like interest rates, profits and revenues. But they can juice the animal spirits of the market who may also be prone to emotional tricks.
Wall Street’s rally was driven by expectations that lower inflation would help the Federal Reserve ease pressure by cutting interest rates. Recently, such cuts appear to be happening later than expected as reports continue to show a remarkably solid economy. But that strength has increased expectations of profits from companies, supporting the shares.
Cloudflare was the latest company to climb after reporting stronger-than-expected profits for its latest quarter. The cloud-services company jumped 19.5% after it said it had signed its biggest new customer and biggest renewal ever, despite the overall economic environment “remains challenging to predict.”
Big Tech stocks led the market’s surge, as they have for more than a year, partly due to the frenzy over artificial-intelligence technology. Nvidia, Microsoft and Amazon were the three strongest forces lifting the S&P 500, with each rising at least 1.6%.
They helped offset a 3.6% decline for PepsiCo, which reported weaker revenue than analysts expected for the latest quarter. It said growth is slowing as consumers return to pre-pandemic snacking and other behaviors.
Expedia fell 17.8% despite reporting better-than-expected profit. The company has given forecasts for the first three months of 2024, with analysts pointing to slower growth in bookings. The company also announced a new CEO, Ariane Gorin, who will take over in May.
Take-Two Interactive, the publisher of “Grand Theft Auto” and other video games, sank 8.7% after reporting lower-than-expected profit. It also cut its forecast for results for its fiscal year, which ends at the end of March.
All told, the S&P 500 rose 28.70 points, to 5,026.61. The Dow fell 54.64 to 38,671.69 and the Nasdaq rose 196.95 to 15,990.66.
Profits for the biggest companies in the S&P 500 have largely been better than expected this reporting season, with about two-thirds ending. According to FactSet, this is usually the case, but this time even more companies are doing it than usual.
That has helped boost optimism on Wall Street, but contrarians say it has gone too far and driven stocks to too-expensive highs.
Traders are moving into some of the riskier investments at such a rapid pace that a contrarian measure maintained by Bank of America is now leaning more toward “sell” rather than “buy,” though not at solid levels. This measurement tracks how much fear and greed there is in the market, and suggests buying in October when fear was at its highest.
In the bond market, Treasury yields edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 4.16% from 4.15% late Thursday.
But activity was much quieter than earlier in the month, when 10-year yields rose from 3.85% as traders forcefully stepped up their forecasts for a rate cut.
This is an encouraging sign that Share Market Higher levels may continue to be touched when expectations of an imminent interest rate cut are diminishing, especially when the market previously seemed to be moving on such expectations.
“The less emotional market is a positive sign, although investors should fight the complacency that is a natural reaction to such a strong and steady uptrend,” said Mark Hackett, head of investment research at Nationwide.
In stock markets abroad, indices were mostly marginally lower. In Asia, many markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.1% after hitting a 34-year high earlier in the day.

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