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Investor Sentiment Edges Lower, US Stocks Record Gains Last Quarter

Published 01/04/2024, 08:35
Updated 01/04/2024, 09:40
© Reuters.  Investor Sentiment Edges Lower, US Stocks Record Gains Last Quarter
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Benzinga - by Avi Kapoor, Benzinga Staff Writer.

The CNN Money Fear and Greed index showed a slight decline in overall market sentiment, but it remained in the "Greed" zone on Thursday.

U.S. stocks closed mixed on Thursday, while the S&P 500 surged to a new all-time high and also recorded its best first-quarter performance in five years.

For the quarter, the S&P 500 gained 10.2% to record its best first-quarter gain since 2019. The Dow Jones added 5.6% during the quarter, notching its best first-quarter performance since 2021. On the month, the S&P 500 gained 3.1%, while the Dow added 2.1%.

Shares of MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. (NYSE: MSM) fell around 2.5% during Thursday’s session after the company reported mixed second-quarter results. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA) reported better than expected second-quarter earnings and tightened FY24 guidance.

On the economic data front, the U.S. economy grew an annualized 3.4% in the fourth quarter, up from 3.2% previously reported. U.S. initial jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 210,000 in the week ending March 23, compared to market estimates of 215,000. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment rose to 79.4 in March versus a preliminary reading of 76.5.

Most sectors on the S&P 500 closed on a positive note, with utilities, real estate and energy stocks recording the biggest gains on Wednesday. However, communication services and consumer discretionary bucked the overall market trend, closing the session lower.

The Dow Jones closed higher by around 47 points to 39,807.37 on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 0.11% at 5,254.35, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.12% at 16,379.46 during Thursday’s session.

Investors are awaiting earnings results from Natural Gas Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: NGS), Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) and PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH) today.

At a current reading of 70.6, the index remained in the "Greed" zone on Thursday, versus a prior reading of 70.8.

What is CNN Business Fear & Greed Index?

The Fear & Greed Index is a measure of the current market sentiment. It is based on the premise that higher fear exerts pressure on stock prices, while higher greed has the opposite effect. The index is calculated based on seven equal-weighted indicators. The index ranges from 0 to 100, where 0 represents maximum fear and 100 signals maximum greediness.

Read Next: Jim Cramer Likes Crown Castle, But Can't Recommend Archer Aviation: It Has 'No Earnings Power'

© 2024 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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