February 25, 2024

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S&P 500 hits new 2023 closing high as stocks rise for fifth straight week

S&P 500 hits new 2023 closing high as stocks rise for fifth straight week

US stocks rose on Friday afternoon, building on a stellar November, even as investors digested a warning from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that it would be “premature” to conclude that Fed rate hikes are over or to “speculate” on when cuts will begin.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose about 0.6% to a new 2023 closing high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose about 0.8%, or nearly 300 points. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) advanced 0.5%. All three indices closed positively for the fifth week in a row.

Stocks rose in November to post their best monthly performance since 2022 as conviction that the Fed was done raising interest rates turned into growing hopes for a rate cut before the summer.

“It’s one of the best months we’ve seen in the last decade,” Callie Cox, US investment analyst at eToro, told Yahoo Finance Live. “And I think this shows us how surprised a lot of investors were by the Fed’s flexible stance after the November 1 meeting.”

Read more: What a pause on federal interest rate hikes means for bank accounts, CDs, loans and credit cards

Powell spoke on Friday after October data showed inflation slowed to its lowest levels since 2021. Although he opposed talk of interest rate cuts, markets rallied from earlier losses as he hinted that the central bank may end raising interest rates.

Meanwhile, oil prices lost more ground after additional production curbs imposed by OPEC+ failed to convince skeptical investors. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (CL=F) were trading just above $74 per barrel, down more than 2%, while Brent crude futures (BZ=F) were below $83.

  • Stocks closed higher after Powell urged caution

    Wall Street extended stock gains on Friday, starting December strong. While Fed Chairman Powell urged investors that it was “too early” to expect imminent interest rate cuts, the market continued to move forward, interpreting his dovish comments in a positive light. The Fed is expected to keep interest rates steady at its next policy meeting in less than two weeks. Many on Wall Street still believe the central bank is likely done raising interest rates, even as Powell said it was still possible.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose nearly 0.6%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) advanced 0.8%, or nearly 200 points. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) rose nearly 0.6%.

  • Look at next week

    Disappointing interest rates and tight housing stock have put pressure on the US housing market, with both buyers and sellers hesitant to make moves in a challenging market. One of the largest homebuilders will give investors the latest read on the future of property construction, as Toll Brothers (TOL) plans to report earnings in the coming days.

    Retail market watchers will also get new information and forecasts from large chains including Dollar General (DG) and Luluemon (LULU). Their earnings follow several weeks of retail reports built on the theme of a more discerning and vulnerable American consumer.

    Investors will also get more information about the labor market with the release of job openings and labor turnover data for October. In addition, next weekend will also release the November jobs report, a key indicator that will guide the direction of the Fed’s tightening campaign.

    Yahoo Finance’s Brent Sanchez has a graphic breakdown of what to watch next week:

  • Apple and Paramount are in talks to bundle services

    The TV bundle that has long defined the entertainment industry is getting a second life, at least among streaming services that are putting their own spin on packaging multiple services for customers.

    Apple (AAPL) and Paramount (PARA) have discussed bundling their streaming services at a discount, Wall Street Journal reportsas companies try to transcend a crowded field and customers retreat from subscribing to multiple services.

    The cost of the potential merger would be less than paying for the two services separately, according to the report, and the details are still unclear.

    Entertainment companies continue to face pressure as customers become saturated with choices and the streaming business matures. Analysts expect a merger to be on the horizon, and Paramount in particular is seen as a potential takeover target. Streamers have also increased prices and adopted ad-supported plans to increase juice revenue.

    The benefit of a bundling strategy stems from lower prices for customers and more robust product offerings from streamers. While some customers may choose to log into a service and then cancel after enjoying the show, a package may provide a more compelling reason to stay, with a larger library and access to more exclusive shows and movies.

  • Stocks trended in afternoon trading

    Here are some of the stocks topping Yahoo Finance’s trending trends page during Friday afternoon:

    Paramount: Shares of the entertainment company rose more than 9% on Friday afternoon following a Wall Street Journal report that Paramount and Apple (AAPL) are in talks to potentially pool their streaming platforms. The proposed Apple TV+/Paramount+ bundled service would likely be less expensive than getting the two services separately, and would give customers access to exclusive content across both catalogs.

    Pfizer (PFE): Shares of the pharmaceutical giant fell 6% on Friday morning after the company said it would not go ahead with a study of a two-dose obesity treatment, following a high level of side effects in patients participating in the trials.

    Coin base (COIN): Shares of the cryptocurrency platform rose more than 6%, building on this year’s impressive returns after a major settlement between US authorities and Binance, which analysts say resolved a degree of uncertainty that had been hanging over the industry. Coinbase is trading at about 4 times the price it started the year at.

    Bitcoin (BTC-USD): The dominant cryptocurrency rang in December with optimism as the world’s largest cryptocurrency extended a rally near a 19-month high, as investors bank on approval of a spot exchange-traded fund that would invite more capital investment into the industry. Bitcoin rose nearly 2% to exceed $38,000.

  • Stocks are trending higher even after Powell talked about a rate cut

    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that it would be “premature” to conclude that rate hikes are over or to “speculate” when cuts will begin.

    In prepared remarks at Spelman College in Atlanta on Friday, Powell played down hopes that the central bank would soon declare victory in its battle to curb inflation. But investors appeared to take the cautious comments in stride, with major indexes rising in the final hour of morning trading.

    Powell’s comments come on the heels of a new reading on the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation — the Core Personal Consumption Expenditures Index — which showed inflation continuing to decline slowly, Yahoo Finance reported. Jennifer Schoenberger Reports. The core PCE rate was 3.5% for October, down from 3.7% in September, continuing a downward trend from 4.3% in June.

    He said the full effects of the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes have yet to be felt. This indicates that the Fed will keep interest rates steady at its next meeting in less than two weeks.

  • Stocks traded higher in the afternoon session

    Wall Street gained momentum Friday afternoon after comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell dashed hopes for an imminent interest rate cut and an end to the tightening campaign.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose about 0.5%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose about 0.7%, or more than 200 points. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) advanced 0.4%.

  • Tesla shares fall after Cybertruck debut

    Tesla’s (TSLA) long-awaited Cybertruck has arrived, with the company delivering the first batch of the vehicle to buyers. At first glance, the market didn’t seem impressed, with shares of the all-electric automaker down 2% in morning trading on Friday.

    The slide also comes after CEO Elon Musk faced the fallout from his interview at the New York Times (NYT) DealBook conference earlier this week, where he cursed advertisers who fled his social media company X.

    Drivers interested in the base model Cybertruck will have to hand over $60,990, more than 50% more expensive than the company estimated years ago when it announced the new model. “That’s not a large segment of the population that can afford that, especially when interest rates are there,” said Jessica Caldwell, head of insights at Edmunds, an automotive research firm.

    The truck’s launch caps a volatile year for Tesla, Yahoo Finance’s Josh Schafer reports, which has seen its stock price soar on the prospects of its AI targets while also coming under pressure amid multiple price cuts and weak margins.

  • Stocks are trending in morning trading

    Here are some of the stocks topping Yahoo Finance’s ETFs page during morning trading on Friday:

    Pfizer (PFE): Shares of the pharmaceutical giant fell 6% on Friday morning after the company said it would not go ahead with a study of a two-dose obesity treatment, following a high level of side effects in patients participating in the trials.

    Bitcoin (BTC-USD): The dominant cryptocurrency rang in December with optimism as the world’s largest cryptocurrency extended a rally near a 19-month high, as investors bank on approval of a spot exchange-traded fund that would invite more capital investment into the industry. Bitcoin rose nearly 2% to exceed $38,000.

    Ulta (Ulta): The beauty supply retailer continued its climb Friday morning, rising more than 12%, after the company reported third-quarter results that were slightly better than Wall Street had expected. The cosmetics retailer reported adjusted earnings of $5.07 per share, compared to $5.00 expected.

    Marvell (MRVL): Shares fell 6% after the semiconductor company offered fourth-quarter guidance that fell short of expectations for the top and bottom lines.

  • Stocks opened slightly lower ahead of Powell’s comments

    Wall Street has seen the last month of the day with some pessimism as investors prepare for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to deliver his remarks later this morning.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell about 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) remained almost unchanged. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) fell 0.3%.

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