New Record for S&P, NASDAQ

Stocks rose Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite back to record highs, as hope over easing inflation and gains in tech aided Wall Street’s midweek bounce.

The Dow Jones Industrials popped 130.3 points to end Thursday at 38,791.35.

The S&P 500 gained 52.6 points, or 1%, to 5,157.76.

Information technology and communication services stocks led the S&P 500 to that record. Intel was the best performer in the Dow with a gain of more than 3%.

The NASDAQ spiked 241.83 points, or 1.5%, to 16,273.38.

The NASDAQ was helped by a gain of more than 3% in Nvidia, the artificial intelligence darling whose shares have climbed more than 11% this week. Apple also rose in the session, on pace to snap a six-day losing streak.

Investor optimism was boosted after the European Central Bank lowered forecasts for annual inflation and growth on Thursday, though the bank also held key interest rates steady. That can be taken as a positive signal on the international inflation front.

The ECB’s announcement comes after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress on Wednesday that he expects interest rates to come down this year, while noting that the U.S. central bank was not immediately ready to begin cutting. Powell spoke before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, the second of his two Capitol Hill appearances this week.

Investors are also awaiting Friday’s U.S. jobs report for insights into the state of the labour market, which has shown resilience despite higher interest rates.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury reasserted themselves, lowering yields to 4.09% from Wednesday’s 4.11%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices sagged 18 cents to $78.95 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices hiked $8.10 to $2,163.80.

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