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Wall Street nears record highs as markets remain calm – KXAN Austin

Wall Street nears record highs as markets remain calm – KXAN Austin


NEW YORK (AP) U.S. stocks are drifting near record highs Monday as they head into the final stretch of what appears to be their final winning month.

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in late trading after closing last week at a record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 10 points, or less than 0.1%, with just under an hour of trading remaining, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was virtually unchanged.

Berkshire Hathaway was soaring after the Warren Buffett company reported results for the end of 2023 that were better than analysts expected. Class B shares of the company, whose subsidiaries include GEICO, Fruit of the Loom and Brooks running shoes, initially jumped more than 3%, but then fell back to a 1.8% loss.

The famous investor warned shareholders not to expect more eye-popping performance, as there are no bargains in the market big enough to make a significant difference. Buffett is known for buying companies when they are cheap.

It follows broader criticism from some financial analysts that prices across Wall Street have soared too high in their big rally since Halloween.

The S&P 500 is on pace to close out its fourth consecutive winning month and just had its 15th winning week in the last 17. And the stock market may not have been cheap even when it bottomed in October 2022. That marked the most expensive decline. -the market is at its lowest in history, by some measures of stock prices relative to corporate profits, says Doug Ramsey, Leuthold's chief investment officer.

This recent rally began last October, on hopes that inflation would calm down enough that the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates several times this year. Such cuts would ease pressure on the economy and financial system, while driving up investment prices.

Expectations are still high for a rate cut this year, but traders have delayed their forecasts following stronger-than-expected economic reports. Meanwhile, the data raises hopes for stronger corporate profit growth, which would also benefit stock prices.

Dominos Pizza jumped 6.6%, one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500 after reporting profit for the final three months of 2023 that beat analysts' expectations.

Amazon stock fell 0.1% after officially joining the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It replaced Walgreens Boots Alliance, down 3.2%.

Homebuilder stocks were mixed after a report showed new home sales strengthened last month less than economists expected. Toll Brothers rose 0.9% and Lennar fell 0.5%.

Intuitive Machines lost more than a third of its value after the company announced that its lunar lander could stop working on Tuesday following its sideways landing near the moon's south pole. The 34.3% decline, however, only undercuts what has been a boost to its stock so far this year. This is still up 148.1% since the end of 2023.

Last week, stocks saw a big rally after another splashy report from Nvidia added even more fun to the frenzy already built around artificial intelligence technology. Nvidia, whose chips help power AI technologies, rose another 0.1% on Monday, and is already up nearly 60% year to date.

The earnings season for the big S&P 500 companies is coming to an end, but this week still offers updates from several big names. Among them, several could give an idea of ​​the resilience of American household spending. Such spending has been a key reason the U.S. economy has outperformed expectations of a possible recession.

Best Buy, Lowes and TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, will all release their reports this week. The same will be true for several large technology-related companies, including and HP.

On the economic calendar, the US government will provide an update on Thursday on the measure of inflation that the Federal Reserve prefers to use. This is generally a less impactful report, as consumer and wholesale inflation data for the month have already been released.

But those reports were hotter than economists expected, which could lead to more volatility this time around. The hope on Wall Street is that inflation continues to cool quickly enough to convince the Federal Reserve to start cutting rates by June.

Bond yields have risen. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 4.29% from 4.25% Friday evening.

In foreign stock markets, indices were mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.3% to set a new record after recovering the last losses suffered when its economic bubble burst in late 1989.

Stocks were down across much of the rest of Asia and mixed across much of Europe.


AP Business writers Yuri Kageyama and Matt Ott contributed.




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