Tags: financial markets

Nasdaq Hits Record, S&P Ticks Higher

Nasdaq Hits Record, S&P Ticks Higher
A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Monday, 20 May 2024 04:06 PM EDT

The Nasdaq closed at a record Monday while the S&P 500 gained slightly as technology stocks advanced ahead of Nvidia's highly anticipated earnings and investors gauged the timing of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 technology index led gains among the 11 major S&P sectors, rising more than 1% helped by chipmakers such as Nvidia, which advanced ahead of its quarterly results on Wednesday.

Investors will look for evidence in Nvidia's earnings that the AI chip leader can maintain its explosive growth and stay ahead of rivals.

At least three brokerages lifted their Nvidia price targets, while peer Micron Technology climbed after Morgan Stanley upgraded the memory chipmaker to "equal-weight" from "underweight." The PHLX semiconductor index rose.

"If they surprise to the upside Nvidia could spark a mini fury, although everything's kind of expensive, so it's hard to see a big move up about it," said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.

"If the Fed starts to lower rates, that would really spark a rally but it doesn't seem like the data supports that yet."

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 5.45 points, or 0.10%, to end at 5,308.72 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 112.25 points, or 0.67%, to 16,798.21. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 187.23 points, or 0.47%, to 39,816.36.

The Dow was weighed down by a drop in JPMorgan shares after CEO Jamie Dimon said he was "cautiously pessimistic" and said the company was not going to buy back its stock at current prices.

A solid earnings season and signs inflation may be starting to cool again have reignited hopes for Fed rate cuts this year, pushing major averages to record levels. The blue-chip Dow closed above 40,000 points for the first time last week.

Comments from Fed officials on Monday did little to alter expectations for rate cuts by the central bank.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said it will take a while to be confident of inflation falling back to the central bank's 2% goal. Vice Chair For Supervision Michael Barr called this year's inflation data "disappointing." Vice-Chairman Phillip Jefferson was "cautiously optimistic" the Fed can continue its efforts to lower inflation without wounding the broader economy.

Minutes of the Fed's latest monetary policy meeting are scheduled to be released on Wednesday. Markets are pricing in a 63.3% chance for a cut of at least 25 basis points (bps) at the September meeting, the CME's FedWatch Tool showed.

The recent rally has started to raise concerns about stock valuations, with the S&P 500 trading at a forward price-to-earning ratio of 20.8, well above its historic average of 15.9, according to LSEG data.

Deutsche Bank raised its 2024 year-end S&P 500 target to 5,500 from 5,100 points earlier, the highest among major brokerages, while Morgan Stanley forecast it would hit 5,400 by June 2025.

Johnson Controls International rose following a report activist investor Elliott Investment Management built a position worth over $1 billion in the building solutions provider.

Norwegian Cruise Line surged after lifting its annual profit forecast.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
The Nasdaq closed at a record Monday while the S&P 500 gained slightly as technology stocks advanced ahead of Nvidia's highly anticipated earnings and investors gauged the timing of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.
financial markets
515
2024-06-20
Monday, 20 May 2024 04:06 PM
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