February 24, 2024
Nasdaq leads Wall Street’s gains as Microsoft hits record high

  • Rise of Microsoft, ousted OpenAI CEO preparing to join the company
  • Bristol Myers steps down as trial of Bayer’s anti-clotting drug fails
  • Indices up: Dow 0.58%, S&P 0.74%, Nasdaq 1.13%

Nov 20 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s three major stock averages closed higher on Monday, with the Nasdaq rallying 1% as heavyweight Microsoft hit record highs after hiring key artificial intelligence executives.

The Nasdaq achieved its highest closing level since July 31, while the S&P 500 recorded its highest closing level since August 1.

The S&P 500’s Information Technology sub-index (.SPLRCT) closed up 1.5% and was the top gainer among the S&P 500’s 11 major sectors. Its biggest gainer came from shares of Microsoft (MSFT.O), which hit a record high and rose 2%.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Sam Altman, who headed OpenAI until he was ousted late last week, was set to join Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. Microsoft will also hire Greg Brockman, another OpenAI co-founder, as well as other researchers.

The news set a positive tone for the market and led to gains in other technology giants including Nvidia (NVDA.O) and Apple (AAPL.O).

Investors are appreciating the better-than-expected earnings season and the ongoing trend of declining Treasury yields, said Bruce Zarrow, managing director of Granite Wealth Management in Providence, Rhode Island.

“The market likes what it sees in the behavior of the bond market. It likes what it sees in the earnings report and it’s in the holiday mood,” Zarrow said. Season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 203.76 points, or 0.58%, to 35,151.04, the S&P 500 (.SPX) rose 33.36 points, or 0.74%, to 4,547.38 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 159.05 points. Up 1.13%, at 14,284.53.

The Dow posted its highest closing level since August 9. The benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) closed less than 1% below its 2023 closing peak in late July.

After nearly three months of weakness, Wall Street’s main indexes have risen so far in November, as evidence of slowing US inflation supported claims that the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates.

The Defensive Utilities Index (.SPLRCU) was the weakest of the S&P 500’s 11 major sectors, closing down 0.3%, followed by the Consumer Constants (.SPLRCS), which closed down 0.01%.

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, United States, on October 27, 2023. Reuters/Brendan McDiarmid/File Photo Get licensing rights

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While trading volumes are often low ahead of Thursday’s US Thanksgiving holiday, investors will have at least two potential catalysts to monitor.

One is chip designer Nvidia’s (NVDA.O) quarterly report due Tuesday, whose stock is seen as one of the best ways to bet on the emerging artificial intelligence industry. Nvidia’s results will end the earnings season for the so-called “Magnificent Seven” group of megacap companies.

Also on Tuesday, the Fed is expected to release minutes of its November meeting, which could provide clues about the direction of US interest rates.

According to CME Group’s FedWatch tool, traders are viewing it as almost entirely likely that the Fed will keep interest rates unchanged in December, and some have begun pricing in a rate cut as early as March.

At the conclusion of the week, the rush of people to stores on Black Friday can give an idea of ​​the state of American consumer spending.

Among individual movers, Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY.N) fell 3.8% as Germany’s Bayer (BAYGn.DE) halted late-stage trials of a new anti-clotting drug on Sunday, leading to similar class of drugs Investor confidence in all growth companies was hurt. ,

Boeing (BA.N) rose 4.6% after Deutsche Bank upgraded the aerospace company to “buy” from “hold” and raised its price target to $270 from $204.

Advancing issues on the NYSE outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 2.17-to-1; On the Nasdaq, a 1.66-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and one new low; The Nasdaq Composite recorded 78 new highs and 90 new lows.

10.1 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, compared with the 11.0 billion moving average over the past 20 sessions.

Reporting by Sinead Carew, Amrita Khandekar and Srishti Achar A in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel, Pooja Desai and Richard Chang

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Source: www.reuters.com

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