Stock Market Holds Near Record Levels, Wrapping Up Another Winning Week

Dow Jones Stock Markets INDEXDJX:DJI

U.S. stocks lingered close to record highs on Friday, poised to conclude another successful week in their impressive rally since Halloween.

In early trading, the S&P 500 edged up by 0.2%, potentially closing above the 5,000 level for the first time after briefly surpassing it on Thursday. This week marks its 14th winning week out of the last 15.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped slightly by 0.1%, retreating 33 points after reaching its latest all-time high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite climbed by 0.4%, inching within 1.3% of its 2021 record, as of 9:45 a.m. Eastern time.

The market’s upward momentum began with hopes that easing inflation would prompt the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates. While rate cuts appear delayed due to consistently strong economic reports, the robust economy has heightened expectations for corporate profits, bolstering stock prices.

Cloudflare surged following better-than-expected profits for its latest quarter, jumping 21.7% after securing its largest new customer and renewal contracts. Similarly, FirstEnergy saw a 4.8% increase, leading gains in the S&P 500, as its quarterly profit and revenue surpassed expectations.

Major tech companies continued to drive the market, with Nvidia, Microsoft, and Amazon exerting significant influence on the S&P 500, each rising by at least 0.6%.

However, PepsiCo faced a 3.7% decline after reporting weaker-than-expected revenue for the quarter, attributing slowed growth to shifting consumer behaviors post-pandemic.

Expedia tumbled 18.8% despite exceeding profit expectations, citing forecasts for slower bookings growth in early 2024. Additionally, Take-Two Interactive plummeted 9.1% following weaker-than-expected profits and reduced fiscal year forecasts.

While corporate profits have generally surpassed expectations this reporting season, some analysts caution that market optimism may have inflated stock prices beyond reasonable levels.

In the bond market, Treasury yields inched higher, though with less volatility compared to earlier in the month. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 4.17% from 4.15% late Thursday.

International markets exhibited mixed and modest movements, with European indexes fluctuating, and several Asian markets closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 saw a marginal increase of 0.1%, touching a 34-year high earlier in the day.

Featured Image:  Megapixl © Alexandersikov

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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.