Wall Street Inches Up Following Record Rally

Wall Street

Stocks drifted mostly higher in early trading on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 up 0.1% early Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 34 points, while the Nasdaq composite remained relatively unchanged. This comes after all three indexes reached all-time highs on Wednesday.

Walmart saw a significant increase of 6.1% after reporting stronger profits than expected by analysts. Chubb also rose by 5.7% following Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway revealing it had acquired an ownership stake in the insurer. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained steady at 4.35%.

The market’s optimism earlier in the week was fueled by reports showing a slight slowdown in inflation, providing relief to investors concerned about rising prices. However, the meme stock rollercoaster continued, with AMC Entertainment and GameStop both falling more than 15% in premarket trading.

In Europe, the DAX in Germany fell 0.2%, the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.4%, and Britain’s FTSE 100 remained unchanged. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.4%, despite the Japanese economy contracting at a 2% annual rate in the January-March quarter. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.6%, and the Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1% higher.

Overall, traders are now predicting a nearly 95% probability that the Federal Reserve will cut its main interest rate at least once this year. This sentiment has been reinforced by recent reports suggesting a potential slowdown in U.S. consumer spending, which could help ease inflationary pressures.

In commodity markets, U.S. benchmark crude oil ticked up 2 cents to $78.65 per barrel, while Brent crude, the international standard, remained unchanged at $82.75 per barrel. The U.S. dollar was stable against the Japanese yen but fell slightly against the euro.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq all closed higher, with the S&P 500 jumping 1.2% to close at 5,308.15, surpassing its previous high set a month and a half earlier.

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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.