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Stock Market Today: Dow, S&P 500 clinch record close despite pause in tech rally

Published 23/02/2024, 01:02
Updated 23/02/2024, 21:22
© Reuters.

Investing.com-- The Dow and S&P 500 notched a record close Friday, even as the rally in Nvidia cooled to blunt the broader tech sector's swashbuckling gains amid waning optimism for aggressive Federal Reserve rate cuts this year.       

By 16:00 ET (21:40 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 62 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 eked out gains to close at a fresh record of 5,088.85, while Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3%. The three major averages closed up for the week, rising more than 1%.

Nvidia briefly joins $2 trillion club as climb continues

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) gave up the bulk of its gains to close just above the flatline after briefly hit $2 trillion in market value for the first time, having added $277 billion in stock market value the previous day, Wall Street's largest one-day gain in history.

Nvidia's blockbuster earnings saw investors largely trade past warnings from the Federal Reserve that interest rates will stay higher for longer- a notion that was further reinforced by stronger-than-expected jobless claims data.

The gains in Nvidia helped keep losses in the broader semiconductor index in check after Super Micro Computer Inc (NASDAQ:SMCI) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ:AMD) gave up some gains from a day earlier. 

Fed speak continues to weigh on rate-cut bets

Investors continued to rein in their expectations for aggressive rate cuts, following fresh remarks from Federal Reserve officials that point to a prolonged higher-for-longer interest-rate regime. 

Federal Reserve Board Governor Christopher Waller said on Thursday that he was in "no rush" to lower rates. A slew of Fed members have previously echoed this notion, citing fears of sticky inflation and strength in the labor market.

Traders are now expecting the first rate cut in June rather than May, with just four rate cuts expected, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool. 

Analysts at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) said that they no longer think the U.S. Federal Reserve will move to slash interest rates at its policy meeting in May following Waller's comments, now expecting the Fed to roll out its first 25 basis-point cut in June.

Warner Bros Discovery slumps after quarterly loss; Carvana , Block shine on earnings stage 

Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD) stock slumped more than 9% after the media giant reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday, as the media conglomerate battled a weak advertising market and the fallout of the twin Hollywood strikes on content generation.

Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) jumped 31% after the used car company narrowed quarterly losses and forecast core earnings well above $100 million in the first quarter, 

The company "continues to show outsized GPU improvement and is giving bulls hope of being on the doorstep of a bigger return to volume growth," RBC said in a note as it upgraded its price target on the company to $45 from $24.

Payments firm Block (NYSE:SQ) gained 16% after it beat quarterly revenue estimates and hiked its annual operating profit outlook, driven by strong performance in its Cash App as margins improved.  

Block "sharpening its focus within its two key businesses Square and Cash App, and becoming hyper-focused on driving profitable growth has been impressive - and we think there's more to go," Seaport said Friday after upgrading its rating on the stock to buy from neutral. 

Intuitive Machines soars as moon touch down sparks rally; RIVN remains in reverse after UBS double downgrade

Aerospace firm Intuitive Machines (NASDAQ:LUNR) rallied nearly 16% after its Odysseus lunar lander successfully touched down on the moon, becoming the first private craft to do so and the first U.S. craft on the moon since 1972.

Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN), meanwhile, fell 12% to add to its losses from a day earlier after UBS slapped a sell rating on the stock, marking a double downgrade form a buy on worries of waning EV demand.

"A changing EV backdrop causes us to reassess our demand view and makes RIVN’s current strategy quite onerous on the ramp to profitability and cash flow," UBS said in a note.

(Peter Nurse, Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

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