Wall Street Inches Higher as Holiday-Shortened Week Begins

Wall Street

Stocks experienced a slight upward movement on Tuesday afternoon, extending the recent positive trend on Wall Street as the market initiated what is anticipated to be a quiet, holiday-shortened trading week.

The S&P 500 saw a 0.4% increase, nearing its all-time high set nearly two years ago following its longest winning streak since 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 132 points, or 0.4%, reaching 37,519 as of 1:03 p.m. Eastern. The Nasdaq composite also rose by 0.4%.

The upward momentum was led by gains in the technology and industrial sectors. Chipmaker Nvidia saw a 1.1% increase, while Intel experienced the most significant gain among S&P 500 stocks with a 4.6% rise. Deere & Co. and Caterpillar contributed to the gains with increases of 1.3% and 2.1%, respectively.

Energy stocks saw a boost as the price of U.S. crude oil rose by 3.2%, resulting in a 1.9% increase for Hess.

Smaller company stocks, represented by the Russell 2000 index, also posted solid gains, rising by 1%.

Treasury yields saw a slight increase, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury at 3.91%, up from 3.90% late on Friday.

Several stocks experienced notable movements based on deal news. Bristol Myers Squibb announced its $4.1 billion acquisition of RayzeBio, causing Bristol Myers shares to fall by 1.9% while RayzeBio doubled in value to $61.40. HollySys Automation Technologies rose by 5.6% after an updated buyout offer from a consortium led by Dazheng Group Acquisition.

Stratasys jumped 13% to $14.81 per share following Nano Dimension’s offer to pay $16.50 per share in cash for the 3D printer maker. Gracell Biotechnologies surged by 60% after agreeing to be acquired by AstraZeneca.

As Wall Street concludes its eighth consecutive winning week, the S&P 500 has risen by more than 24% for the year, and the Nasdaq has seen an increase of over 43%. Investors have been encouraged by declining inflation reports coupled with a stronger-than-expected economy.

The Federal Reserve is navigating a delicate balance, aiming to slow the economy through elevated interest rates to control inflation without pushing the nation into recession. While traders expect interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve, there are concerns that optimism about the pace of rate cuts may be overblown.

This week’s economic reports are relatively light, with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s manufacturing activity index on Wednesday and the Labor Department’s weekly unemployment benefit claims on Thursday.

In Asia, Shanghai’s benchmark faced losses due to heavy selling of technology and computer chip-related shares, as concerns over trade tensions with the U.S. and other western countries resurfaced. Video gaming companies in China announced share buybacks to stabilize prices after draft guidelines from Chinese regulators caused a plunge in shares of game makers like Tencent and Netease. Hong Kong markets were closed on Tuesday, so the full impact of Beijing’s efforts to support the industry and approve more than 100 games on Monday remains unclear. The Shanghai Composite index dropped by 0.7%, while Shenzhen’s A-share index, where more high-tech companies are listed, lost 1.2%. European markets remained closed on Tuesday.

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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.