Home » Blog » Tech Lifts S&P 500, Nasdaq to Fresh Highs

Tech Lifts S&P 500, Nasdaq to Fresh Highs

The artificial-intelligence trade and Tesla TSLA 2.92%increase; green up pointing triangle powered the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to fresh records Thursday, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average continued to sputter.

The mixed market came a day after the Federal Reserve indicated it is in no hurry to reduce interest rates despite Labor Department data this week that showed easing inflation for consumers and producers. Though Wall Street has dialed back expectations for the number and timing of rate cuts, traders have been bidding up riskier assets in anticipation of lower borrowing costs. 

The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3%. The S&P 500 added 0.2%, paced by a 1.4% rise in information technology stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.2%, or 65 points, its third straight daily decline.

Treasury yields also declined for a third day in a row. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note slipped to 4.239%, down from 4.294% on Wednesday. Yields fall as prices rise. 

Federal Reserve officials penciled in just one interest-rate cut for this year, even after the Labor Department reported the consumer-price index—a measure of goods and services costs across the economy—was essentially flat from the month before and up 3.3% from one year earlier. On Thursday, the department said producer prices fell 0.2% in May from the prior month, surprising economists who predicted a rise. Another report showed jobless claims rising more than anticipated. 

Taking on more risk in anticipation of benchmark borrowing costs being cut by one quarter of a percentage point could prove to be a mistake if rates are reduced because of deteriorating economic conditions, said Adam Hetts, global head of multi-asset investing at money manager Janus Henderson.

“That’s not putting the punch bowl back on the table,” Hetts said. “Investors are playing with fire.”

Sébastien Page, chief investment officer at T. Rowe Price Group, said corporate earnings, the artificial intelligence boom and market liquidity are all factors more important to his investment decisions than the timing of a rate cut. “We’re all too obsessed with 25 basis points,” he said. 

Among individual stocks, Broadcom, which produces chips and software, boosted the S&P, rising 12% to close at a record of $1,678.99. Broadcom shares have more than tripled over the past two years, thanks to booming sales tied to the development of artificial intelligence. Late Wednesday, it said sales for its fiscal quarter ended May 5 were 43% higher than a year earlier and beyond Wall Street’s expectations. 

The Palo Alto, Calif., firm also said it would split its stock 10-for-1 next month in an effort to make its shares more affordable for investors and employees. Split stocks tend to outperform the broader market following their division, thanks to the wider pool of buyers for shares without a comma in the price.

Rival chip-maker Nvidia split its stock at the end of last week. Shares are up 7.2% since, including a 3.5% gain Thursday. 

Super Micro Computer, another chip maker, climbed 12% Thursday, also helping to lift the S&P.

Tesla gained 2.9% after Chief Executive Elon Musk said preliminary voting results show shareholders currently backing proposals to ratify his massive compensation package and move the automaker to Texas. 

Paramount Global brought up the rear of the broad index, dropping 6.9% to extend its losses since Shari Redstone ended talks to sell her controlling stake in the company to Skydance Media.

Rival entertainment conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery lost 6.7%.

Overseas, stocks were mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1% to snap a two-day losing streak while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index shed 0.4% ahead of the Bank of Japan’s interest rate decision on Friday.

Major indexes in Europe extended a string of declines following last week’s European Parliament elections and amid worries over mounting deficits in France. London’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 declined 0.6% and 2%, respectively. The Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 1.3%.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *