Stock Market Continues Rally to Record Highs, Driven by Chipmakers

stock market

Stocks are continuing their upward trajectory, reaching record highs in early trading on Wall Street, with significant gains led by chipmakers. The S&P 500 climbed 0.5% in early trading on Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by 177 points, or 0.5%. The Nasdaq composite also saw a rise of 0.8%. Micron, in particular, led the gains among chipmakers after reporting exceptional results for its latest quarter that exceeded analysts’ expectations. Investors are closely monitoring the debut of Reddit shares in today’s trading. Treasury yields remained relatively stable following the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it still plans to implement three rate cuts this year.

Global Market Overview

In global markets, benchmarks mostly showed gains on Thursday following the record-setting rally in U.S. stocks, fueled by indications from the Federal Reserve regarding expected interest rate cuts later this year.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.5% to 8,199.57, while Germany’s DAX edged up 0.8% to 18,159.77. Britain’s FTSE 100 surged nearly 1.2% to 7,829.19. U.S. shares were poised for further gains, with Dow futures up 0.4% at 40,081.00 and S&P 500 futures rising 0.4% to 5,309.50.

Asian markets also saw positive momentum, with Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumping 2.0% to close at a record high of 40,815.66. The increase followed the government’s report of nearly 8% growth in exports for February, marking the third consecutive month of growth. Hong Kong’s benchmark surged 1.9% to 16,863.10, while the Shanghai Composite inched down less than 0.1% to 3,077.11 after the Chinese government announced new measures to support the economy. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 added 1.1% to 7,782.00, and South Korea’s Kospi gained 2.4% to 2,754.86.

Federal Reserve Outlook and Market Response

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 surged 0.9% to reach 5,224.62, marking an all-time high for the second consecutive day. The Dow industrials also rose by 1%, while the Nasdaq composite soared 1.3% higher.

The Federal Reserve’s survey of policymakers indicated their expectation to deliver three interest rate cuts in 2024, unchanged from their previous projection three months earlier. The anticipation of relief from such cuts has been a significant driver of record-setting stock prices in the U.S.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the recent reports of weaker-than-expected economic data but emphasized that they have not altered the overall narrative of inflation gradually moving down toward the 2% target.

In commodities trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose by 40 cents to $81.67 a barrel, while Brent crude, the international standard, added 41 cents to $86.36 a barrel. The U.S. dollar strengthened slightly against the Japanese yen, reaching 151.34 yen from 151.26 yen, while the euro dipped to $1.0892 from $1.0925.

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About the author: Stephanie Bedard-Chateauneuf has over six years of experience writing financial content for various websites. Over the years, Stephanie has covered various industries, with a primary focus on tech stocks, consumer stocks, health stocks, and personal finance. This stock lover likes to invest for the long-term. Stephanie has an MBA in finance.