May 26th, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street rises to add to last week’s gains

By Stan Choe, The Associated Press on May 6, 2024.

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks closed higher on Wall Street, adding to last week’s gains. The S&P 500 climbed 1% Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%, and the Nasdaq composite added 1.2%. Treasury yields held steady in the bond market following last week’s big moves on hopes that a cooling job market could get the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year. Berkshire Hathaway rose after Warren Buffett’s company reported its latest quarterly results over the weekend. Freshpet jumped after reporting better results than expected. The Walt Disney Co. and Uber Technologies will also report their earnings later this week.

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

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are ticking higher Monday as last week’s rush of market-moving events gives way to what could be a quieter week.

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% in afternoon trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 151 points, or 0.4%, as of 2:47 p.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was 0.9% higher.

Berkshire Hathaway added 0.6% after Warren Buffett’s company reported its latest quarterly results over the weekend. Freshpet jumped 9.4% after reporting better results than expected in large part because it sold 30% more food for cats and dogs.

They helped to offset an 11.3% slide for Spirit Airlines, which reported a slightly worse loss than expected. The carrier said it’s facing increased competition in many of its markets, particularly between the United States and Latin America. Apple slipped 1.3% after Buffett pared Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in the tech giant.

The U.S. stock market has been swinging sharply since setting a record at the end of March. It sunk for weeks on fears that stubbornly high inflation would prevent or at least delay the Federal Reserve from delivering the cuts to interest rates that Wall Street craves.

But markets found a burst of optimism at the end of last week following a cooler-than-expected jobs report. It suggested the U.S. economy could nail the tightrope walk of staying strong enough to avoid a bad recession, but not so firm that it puts too much upward pressure on inflation.

Goldman Sachs economist David Mericle said he still expects two cuts to rates this year, in July and November, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell “pushed back strongly against the possibility of further rate hikes” at his press conference last week.

This upcoming week won’t include such highly anticipated events as last week’s Fed meeting or monthly jobs report. This week’s highlights instead could come from a number of speeches by Fed officials or from Friday’s preliminary report on consumer sentiment.

The bulk of companies in the S&P 500 have also already reported their results for the first three months of the year, with more than three-quarters of them topping profit expectations, according to FactSet.

But several more big names are still on the way this week, including The Walt Disney Co. and Uber Technologies.

In the bond market, which has been dictating much of the action in the stock market recently, Treasury yields were holding relatively steady.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was at 4.49%, down slightly from 4.50% late Friday. The two-year Treasury, which more closely tracks expectations for the Fed, was also moving little.

Traders are betting on a 90% chance that the Fed will cut its main interest rate at least once before the end of the year, according to data from CME Group. That’s up from from an 81.6% probability seen a week ago.

In stock markets abroad, several exchanges were closed for holidays. Indexes rose relatively modestly in France, Germany and Hong Kong. Stocks jumped 1.2% in Shanghai.

Corporate profit reports have been better than expected not just in the United States but also in Europe and Japan, according to strategists at Deutsche Bank. Global earnings growth is on track for a second straight quarter of growth following four consecutive declines.

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AP Writers Matt Ott and Zimo Zhong contributed.

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