March 1, 2024

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Dow Jones opens flat, S&P 500 nears record high

Dow Jones opens flat, S&P 500 nears record high

It's the last trading day of a busy year, and the S&P 500 is close to setting a new record.

Shares opened near the flat line after the opening bell on Friday. If the S&P 500 gains about 0.3%, that would push it above the previous high point reached in January 2022.

The three major indices are poised to end the year with significant gains, defying the impact of rising interest rates, wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, and the regional banking crisis in the United States.

The S&P 500's biggest gainer during 2023 has been chipmaker Nvidia, which is up a staggering 240% through Thursday. Not far behind is Meta, which is up almost 200%, rewarding those who trusted Mark Zuckerberg to change the owner of Facebook and Instagram.

Another big winner: Bitcoin rebounded 156% and traded at more than $42,500.

Stock indices fluctuated. The Nasdaq is on track for its largest annual gain since 2003, while the S&P 500 is approaching its longest weekly winning streak since 2004.

European stocks ended the year strongly as well. The Stoxx Europe 600 is on track to end 2023 up 12.5%.

Not everyone had a great year. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell for the fourth year in a row, falling by 14% in 2023.

Oil prices fell by 10% this year. Prices rose slightly on Friday, the last trading day of 2023.

The dollar declines 2% during 2023When measured against a basket of major currencies.