February 18, 2024
US Stock Market Gains Amid Strong Economic Indicators
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US Stock Market Gains Amid Strong Economic Indicators

US Stock Market Gains Amid Strong Economic Indicators/AFP

US Stock Market Gains Amid Strong Economic Indicators

Thursday witnessed gains in most US stocks as robust economic indicators suggested the economy’s resilience, defying predictions of a recession after the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike. Here are the key highlights:

  • S&P 500 Record: The S&P 500 set a record for the fifth consecutive day, rising by 0.4% to 4,894.16.
  • Nasdaq and Dow Jones: The Nasdaq composite increased by 0.2% to 15,510.50, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 0.6% to 38,049.13.
  • Strong Q4 GDP Growth: The US gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 3.3% in the fourth quarter, defying recession fears. Consumer spending, exports, government expenditure, and corporate investment contributed to the growth.
  • Federal Reserve’s Outlook: The Federal Reserve might delay interest rate cuts until March due to the robust economic performance. However, rate cuts are still expected later in the year as inflation cools off.
  • Market Impact: Treasury yields declined in response to rate cut predictions. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 4.12%.
  • Jobless Claims: Initial jobless claims for the final week of January surpassed expectations, reaching 214,000.
  • IBM’s Performance: IBM’s better-than-expected earnings announcement for the recent quarter contributed to a 9.5% rise, leading the market. Tesla’s 12.1% decline offset some of the market gains.
  • Upcoming Earnings Reports: Investors are closely watching upcoming quarterly results from heavyweight companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, and Meta Platforms to assess the justification of their high valuations.

Despite some market fluctuations, the overall sentiment remains positive, driven by strong economic data and corporate performances.

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