April 22nd, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street pulls back further from its all-time highs

By Stan Choe, The Associated Press on March 26, 2024.

NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street slipped a bit further from its record heights. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% Tuesday for its third straight modest drop. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1%, and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.4%. Stock indexes were up for much of the day, thanks to gains for Tesla and other Big Tech stocks. But a late-day drop for Nvidia ended up helping to pull the overall market lower. Trump Media & Technology Group jumped 16% in its first day of trading under the ticker symbol that uses former President Donald Trump’s initials. Treasury yields slipped following mixed economic reports.

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

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are ticking higher Tuesday, near their record levels.

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in afternoon trading, coming off a listless performance where it edged a bit further from its all-time high set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 58 points, or 0.2%, as of 1:52 p.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was 0.2% higher.

Much of the heavy lifting for the market was courtesy of several Big Tech stocks. A 3.7% rise for Tesla and a 1% climb for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, were among the strongest forces pushing the S&P 500 upward.

But several smaller companies were making some of the splashiest moves. Krispy Kreme jumped 28.1%, after it announced a deal where McDonald’s restaurants will sell its doughnuts across the country. It will begin later this year and hopes to be nationwide by the end of 2026.

Another food company, McCormick, was also helping to lead the market and climbed 10%. The seller of spices, hot sauces and seasonings reported stronger profit for the latest quarter than analysts expected. It also said its business looks strong, with sales growth for the year looking to come in at the high end of its projections.

Trump Media & Technology Group was another big mover, soaring 48.7%. It’s the first day of trading for the company under its new ticker, “DJT,” which are the initials of former President Donald Trump. The company took the place of a shell company that had been trading on the Nasdaq after the two merged.

The stock’s price has shot well beyond what several experts say is reasonable, driven by excitement about Trump’s latest run for the White House. Truth Social, the platform that’s the company’s main asset, is losing money and expects to continue to do so while competing against rivals with many more users.

The overall U.S. stock market is also facing criticism that it’s become too expensive, though not as much as Trump Media & Technology Group has received.

The S&P 500 has already roared nearly 10% higher this year and is on track to close out its fifth straight winning month. Excitement is high because the U.S. economy has remained remarkably resilient despite high interest rates meant to get inflation under control. Plus, the Federal Reserve looks set to begin lowering interest rates this year because inflation has cooled from its peak.

Strong buying of stock by companies themselves has also helped to support prices. Stock buybacks among corporate clients at Bank of America reached their fifth-highest level in its weekly data history, going back to 2010, according to strategist Jill Carey Hall.

But critics say a broader range of companies will need to deliver strong profit growth to justify their big moves in price. Progress on bringing inflation down has also become bumpier recently, with reports this year coming in hotter than expected.

Still, the broad expectation among traders is for the Federal Reserve to begin cutting its main interest rate in June. Some even see a slight possibility of it starting at its meeting next week.

In the bond market, Treasury yields were holding relatively steady following mixed reports on the economy.

One from the U.S. government showed that orders for machinery, computers and other long-lasting manufactured goods rose in February following two months of drops.

But a later report from the Conference Board said confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly ticked down, when economists were forecasting a rise. Solid spending by U.S. consumers has been one of the linchpins keeping the economy out of a long-predicted recession.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 4.24%, where it was late Monday. The two-year yield, which more closely tracks expectations for the Fed, slipped to 4.60% from 4.63%

In stock markets abroad, indexes were mostly modestly higher across Europe and Asia.

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AP Business Writers Yuri Kageyama and Matt Ott contributed.

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