May 30th, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street opens higher and adds to what’s been a solid May so far

By Zimo Zhong, The Associated Press on May 13, 2024.

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are ticking higher on Wall Street and adding to what’s been a solid May following their rough April. The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in early trading Monday and pulling even closer to its record set at the end of March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 96 points, and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.4%. Stocks have rallied this month on revived hopes that inflation may ease enough to convince the Federal Reserve to cut its main interest rate later this year. A key test will arrive Wednesday, when the government offers the latest monthly update on inflation.

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

HONG KONG (AP) – World stocks were mixed on Monday after Wall Street coasted to the close of another winning week.

European markets were little changed. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1% to 8,444.23. Germany’s DAX edged down by 2.40 to 18,770.45 and the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.1% to 8,210.88.

The future for the S&P 500 edged 0.1% higher and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was less than 0.1% higher.

In Asia, the release of weak Chinese lending data and news that the U.S. government plans to raise tariffs on a raft of Chinese exports were weighing on sentiment.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.1% to 38,179.46. The country’s first quarter economic growth figures are due to be released on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.8% and ended at 19,108.78, helped by buying of technology shares.

But the Shanghai Composite index was 0.2% lower, to 3,148.02, after China’s inflation data rose for a third straight month in April, while the producer price index, which measures the cost of factory goods, declined for a 19th month, the National Bureau of Statistics reported on Saturday.

New loans fell to 730 billion yuan ($100 billion) in April from 3.09 trillion yuan in March and total credit declined partly due to a lower level of government bonds being issued. Officials said the data show demand remains weak with the real estate sector still ailing.

The Biden administration is expected to announce this week that it will raise tariffs on electric vehicles, semiconductors, solar equipment, and medical supplies imported from China, according to people familiar with the plan. Tariffs on electric vehicles, in particular, could quadruple from 25% to 100%.

These tariffs, which are expected to be announced on Tuesday, sparked selling of some automakers. Chinese EV maker BYD’s stock dropped 0.2% and NIO slumped 2%.

South Korea’s Kospi fell less than 0.1% to 2,727.21 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was 1 point higher to 7,750.00.

Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.7% after leading computer maker TSMC reported its revenue surged nearly 60% in April from a year earlier. India’s Sensex fell 0.6%.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 5,222.68 to finish a third straight winning week following a mostly miserable April. Early gains shrank after a discouraging report on U.S. consumer sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% to 39,512.84, and the Nasdaq composite edged down by 5.40 to 16,340.87.

The S&P 500 is within 0.6% of its record, helped by revived hopes the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates this year. A flood of stronger-than-expected reports on profits from big U.S. companies has also helped support the market.

In the bond market, Treasury yields rose following the discouraging preliminary report from the University of Michigan.

It suggested sentiment among U.S. consumers is weakening by much more than economists expected, and the drop was large enough to be “statistically significant and brings sentiment to its lowest reading in about six months,” according to Joanne Hsu, director of the survey of consumers.

Potentially even more discouraging is that U.S. consumers were forecasting inflation of 3.5% in the upcoming year, up from their forecast of 3.2% a month earlier. If such expectations spiral higher, the fear is that it could lead to a vicious cycle that worsens inflation.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 33 cents to $78.59 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, was 27 cents higher at $83.06 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar edged up to 155.88 Japanese yen from 155.70 yen. The euro cost $1.0777, up from $1.0771.

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