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Wall Street clings to modest gains, marks another winning week

Wall Street clings to modest gains, marks another winning week


HONG KONG Stocks held on to modest gains on Wall Street Friday, giving the market a new record high and a winning week.

The listless day for stocks capped a mostly solid earnings week in which the technology sector once again propelled the market higher. The sector was the engine of a recovery that began in October.

The S&P 500 index rose 1.77 points, or less than 0.1%, to 5,088.80. It was another record high for the benchmark index and its sixth winning week in the last seven.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.42 points, or 0.2%, to 39,131.53. The Nasdaq slipped 44.80 points, or 0.3%, to 15,996.82.

Weakness in some technology companies weighed on the market, representing a reversal from Thursday. Apple fell 1%. Nvidia made a gain of 0.4%, after surpassing the $2 trillion valuation mark earlier in the day. The chipmaker surged on Thursday after reporting blockbuster demand for its semiconductors, used to power AI applications.

A pullback in travel-related companies also dampened gains elsewhere in the market. fell 10.1%, dragging other travel-related companies down. The online travel service beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter sales and profit targets but issued tepid forecasts that spooked investors. Its competitor Expedia Group fell 2%.

Investors are optimistic, with political uncertainty, high valuations and Fed uncertainty unlikely to dampen market momentum,” said Mark Hackett, head of investment research at Nationwide.

Profits remained the main concern. Ticket seller and concert promoter Living Nation rose 2% after beating analysts' revenue forecasts. Sleep Number, which sells beds and bedding products, jumped 33% after beating Wall Street revenue forecasts.

On the losing side, Warner Bros. Discovery fell 9.9% after reporting a wider loss than Wall Street expected.

Aside from profits, Intuitive Machines, the company that manufactured the first lunar landing in more than 50 years, has soared by 15.8%.

Energy stocks were mostly lower due to lower oil and natural gas prices. U.S. crude oil prices fell 2.7% and natural gas prices fell 7.4%.

Treasury yields fell. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 4.26% from 4.33% Thursday evening.

Markets were mainly up in Europe and Asia. Tokyo markets were closed for a public holiday, a day after hitting a record high.

Investors have other important earnings to look at next week as they try to get a better idea of ​​where the economy is heading. Home improvement retailer Lowe's and discount retailer Dollar Tree will report results. Computer maker HP and electronics retailer Best Buy will also report results.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect S&P 500 companies to report earnings growth of just under 4% for the fourth quarter. About 90% of the companies in the index have already published a report. Analysts expect earnings growth of 3.6% for the current quarter.

Wall Street will also get more economic data that could further clarify how consumers are feeling and whether inflation continues to cool. The Conference Board will release its consumer confidence survey for February and the government will provide another update on gross domestic product during the fourth quarter.

The focus will be on inflation data from the government's January report on consumption and personal spending. This is the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation and is expected to cool to 2.4%. It peaked at 7.1% in June 2022.

THE The Fed tries to control inflation back to its 2% target and last week's data on consumer and wholesale prices came in higher than Wall Street expected. That prompted Wall Street to push back against expectations that the central bank would begin cutting its benchmark interest rates. Traders now expect the Fed to cut rates in June instead of March.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.




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