S&P, Dow eke out another record closing high as Nvidia momentum endures

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Business

By David French

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out another closing record high on Friday, with all three Wall Street benchmarks scoring weekly gains, as artificial intelligence stocks had enough steam to keep the rally chugging along.

AI poster child Nvidia advanced again, rising 0.4%, and briefly traded above $2 trillion in market valuation for the first time.

Nvidia’s gains on Thursday, the session after its blowout earnings, had propelled the chipmaker to add $277 billion in stock market value, Wall Street’s largest ever daily gain. Despite a smaller advance on the final trading day of the week, its performance still dominated the market’s attention.

“Nvidia is one of the key companies, if not the key company, for driving the Nasdaq and S&P 500 higher,” said Anthony Saglimbene, chief market strategist at Ameriprise.

Saglimbene noted investors have been walking back expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, which otherwise could be a headwind for markets. But the performance of Nvidia and other Big Tech has pushed Fed worries into the background.

“The concentration is so intense right now on Big Tech, in particular on Nvidia, that it’s looking passed that,” he said.

Nvidia had pulled up other Big Tech and growth stocks in previous sessions, as investors traded the AI play. Some of these names gave up some gains on Friday, as Apple, Tesla and Meta Platforms all fell between 0.4% and 2.8%.

Shares of Super Micro Computer, another beneficiary of the AI rally, dropped 11.8% after the server component maker priced its convertible notes.

The S&P 500 gained 1.77 points, or 0.03%, to end at 5,088.8 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 44.80 points, or 0.28%, to 15,996.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.42 points, or 0.16%, to 39,131.53.

A majority of the S&P sectors ended in positive territory. Among the best performers were utilities, as well as materials and industrials. All three climbed between 0.5% and 0.7%.

For the week, the S&P 500 climbed 1.7%, the Dow rose 1.3% and the Nasdaq finished 1.4% higher. 

Carvana surged 32.1% on Friday after reporting its first-ever annual profit, helped by its pact with bondholders to cut its outstanding debt by $1 billion.

Among Friday’s decliners, Warner Bros Discovery shed 9.9% on reporting a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, as the media conglomerate battled the fallout of the twin Hollywood strikes on content generation.

Jack Dorsey-led Block jumped 16.1% after the payments firm forecast adjusted core earnings for the current quarter above Wall Street estimates, betting on consumer resilience.

The volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.64 billion shares, compared with the 11.6 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

(This story has been refiled to fix a typo in the headline)

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru and David French in New York; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and David Gregorio)





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