April 18th, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street opens higher and is on track for another winning week

By Zimo Zhong And Matt Ott, The Associated Press on February 23, 2024.

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street, keeping the market on track for its sixth winning week in the last seven. Technology stocks led the gains again, inluding another big drive upward from Nvidia. The chipmaker clocked the biggest one-day gain in market value on record a day earlier after reporting blockbuster demand for its semiconductors, which are used to power AI applications. The S&P 500 was up 0.4% early Friday. The Nasdaq composite was up 0.5% and the Dow added 0.3%. Intuitive Machines, the company that made the first U.S. lunar landing in more than 50 years, rose sharply. Treasury yields slipped.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Wall Street pointed higher early Friday, keeping markets on track to close the week with gains after Nvidia’s stunning results set off a tech rally that carried Wall Street to another record high.

Futures for the S&P 500 rose less than 0.1% before the bell, while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.1%.

Nvidia rose another 2% in premarket Friday, following Thursday’s 16.4% gain.

The chipmaker reported scorching demand for its semiconductors and lifted other chipmakers and companies involved in the chipmaking industry up with it.

Booking.com tumbled 8.5% before the bell Friday, dragging other travel-related companies down. Booking.com beat Wall Street’s fourth-quarter sales and profit targets but issued lukewarm guidance that spooked investors.

Live Nation jumped 4.6% after it reported booming 2023 sales and said it expected demand for live concerts to continue through 2024.

Technology stocks have been the driving force behind the market’s rally that started in October. Solid earnings from some of the biggest names in the sector are helping justify and reinforce those gains.

The focus on earnings this week follows economic data from the previous week that prompted a stumble in the market. Inflation data came in hotter than Wall Street expected and there was a surprisingly sharp decline in sales by retailers. That raised concerns about the timing of hoped-for interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

Expectations now seem to be set on a trimming by the Fed of its benchmark rate in June, rather than March.

There will be a closer look at inflation next week when the government releases its monthly report on personal consumption and expenditures, the Fed’s preferred measure.

Elsewhere, in Europe at midday Germany’s DAX added less than 0.1% following news that the country’s GDP contracted 0.3% in October-December compared to the previous quarter. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.6% and in London the FTSE 100 was essentially unchanged.

Tokyo’s markets were closed for a holiday, a day after they surged to an all-time high.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was virtually unchanged at 16,745.50 and the Shanghai Composite index added 0.6% to 3,004.88.

Government data on Wednesday showed few signs of recovery in China’s real estate market, as prices of new homes in first-tier cities fell 0.4% in January from a month earlier, extending a downward trend.

The property sector accounts for nearly a third of China’s economic activity and the industry-wide meltdown has weighed on growth and sapped the confidence of both investors and consumers.

Markets were higher elsewhere in Asia.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4% at 7,643.60, and the Kospi in Seoul added 0.1% to 2,667.70.

In India, the Sensex gained less than 0.1% and Bangkok’s SET was unchanged.

Bond yields were relatively steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked back to 4.31% from 4.33% late Thursday.

In energy trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost $1.26 to $77.35 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up $1.17 to $81.53 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar was trading at 150.41 Japanese yen, down slightly from 150.51 yen. The euro rose to $1.0840 from $1.0823.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 rose 2.1% to 5,087.03, an all-time high. The Nasdaq rose 3% to 16,041.62.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has a smaller weighting in tech stocks, jumped 1.2%, to 39,069.11. That marks its first close above 39,000.

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