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Stock Market Today: S&P 500 rallies to record high as tech reigns supreme

Published 01/18/2024, 07:48 PM
Updated 01/19/2024, 04:43 PM
© Reuters

Investing.com -- The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high Friday, as investors continued to swoop into big tech stocks on the heels of data showing stronger consumer sentiment and cooling inflation expectations. 

By 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the S&P 500 rose 1.2% to closed at record of 4,839.81, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.1%, while NASDAQ Composite was up 1.7%.

Tech reigns supreme to push market to all-time high 

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Meta (NASDAQ:META) led the gains in big tech as investors continued to load up on megacap tech amid ongoing optimism that growing demand for artificial intelligence will continue spur growth. 

"We rate the US information technology sector as most preferred within US equities, given its above-average tilt to quality and its potential to benefit from the bottoming of end-market demand," UBS said in a note. 

Chip stocks, meanwhile, continued to add to recent gains, with NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) rising more than 4% and 7%%, respectively. while Super Micro Computer Inc (NASDAQ:SMCI) jumped to a record high after lifting its full-year outlook, citing strong AI-led demand.  

Easing inflation expectations, signs of still-strong consumer add to bullish sentiment   

The University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index jumped by more than expected to a reading of 78.8 in January, the highest since July 2021, from 69.7 in December, while one-year and five-year inflation expectations eased to 2.9% and 2.8% from 3.1% and 2.9%, in the prior month, respectively. 

Easing inflation expectations helped keep a lid on Treasury yields, with the 10-year and 2-year yields retreating from session, though still traded above the flatline. Expectations for a March rate cut dropped below 50%, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

The upbeat reading on the economy and inflation come just a day after Congress passed a bill to keep the federal government in business until March.

Macy’s set to cut jobs, Wayfair eyes leaner operations, Spirit Airlines surges on healthier outlook  

In the corporate sector, Macy’s (NYSE:M) stock fell 1.6% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the department chain is set to reduce headcount and shutter locations in a bid to cut costs and streamline its business.

Wayfair Inc (NYSE:W) stock surged over 10% after the online furniture and home goods seller announced it will cut about 13% of its workforce as part of an effort to revamp the business.

Spirit Airlines Inc (NYSE:SAVE) stock jumped over 17% after lifting its outlook on fourth-quarter revenue following a jump in holiday-driven travel demand. The budget carrier also continued to back its merger with JetBlue Airways Corp (NASDAQ:JBLU), reiterating that it disagreed with the Department of Justice decision to block the tie-up. 

Energy stocks lag broader market as oil prices stutter

Energy stocks were hanging onto meagre gains as oil prices swung negative to settle in the red.

Oil prices cut gains to settle lower Friday, though eked out a weekly gain as upbeat forecast from The International Energy Agency and OPEC earlier this week, ongoing geopolitical tensions and disruptions in U.S. oil production from a winter storm strengthened sentiment. 

(Peter Nurse, Oliver Gray contributed to this article.)

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