New York Stock Exchange | S&P 500 breaks two-year-old record

(New York) The New York Stock Exchange ended sharply higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 surpassing a two-year high, driven by technology, while the Dow Jones rose to a new all-time high.

The broader S&P 500 index, the most representative of the market, rose to 4839.81 points (+1.23%), beating its last closing peak which dated from January 2022.

The Dow Jones rose 1.05% to 37,863.80 points, a high after last December. The predominantly technological NASDAQ gained 1.70% to 15,310.97 points.

“The market is very bullish. There is strong demand for shares,” commented Adam Sarhan, analyst at 50 Park Investments, contacted by AFP.

“Technology stocks continued to drive the market with explosive action in the semiconductor sector,” he added.

Thus the shares of the server and storage solutions manufacturer Super Micro Computer (SMCI) were sought after (+35.94% to $423). As are those of the specialist in microprocessors for AI, Nivida (+4.17%), which reached a peak at almost $595, or the semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom (+5.88% to $1,211) , also at a peak.

Adam Sarhan also pointed out that the NASDAQ had posted weekly gains in eleven of the last twelve weeks.

At the start of this week, the market had lost ground, readjusting its ambitions for rate cuts from the Federal Reserve (Fed), a move accompanied by tension in bond rates.

But on Friday, the indices largely recovered their losses to set off towards new records.

Surprising with its optimism, the American consumer confidence index from the University of Michigan reassured the market. This barometer of household morale in the United States thus climbed to its highest since July 2021, to 78.8 points in January, or 13% more than in December. Analysts expected a slight decline.

This rebound was supported “by confidence in the fact that inflation has crossed a threshold and by the strengthening of income expectations,” noted the director of the survey, Joanne Hsu, in a press release.

For Grace Zwemmer, economic analyst at Oxford Economics, “this other strong increase in the consumer confidence index reflects the recent decline in inflation, that of gasoline prices and the rebound in the stock market.”

Andrew Hunter, analyst at Capital Economics, however, doubted that this enthusiasm among households “signals an acceleration in consumption growth”.

On the bond market, ten-year yields were stable at 4.14%.

On the values ​​side, the positive momentum was also driven by favorable reactions to several results announcements such as that of the insurer Travelers. This member of the Dow Jones gained 6.75%.

Its fourth quarter profit increased from $2.8 billion in 2022 to $3 billion in 2023 thanks to a sharp increase in the prices of its insurance premiums (+21% for housing).

The manufacturer of smart vacuum cleaners iRobot fell by almost 27% to 17 dollars, after information from the Wall Street Journal affirming that the European Union is preparing to block the takeover of the company by Amazon (+1.20 %) as part of an antitrust investigation launched in July.

In the wake of the rejection by the American courts of the proposed merger between the low-cost airlines JetBlue and Spirit Airlines, the putative buyer, JetBlue, sold 1.19%. Spirit’s securities, which have halved since the rejection of the buyout, recovered by 17.12% to $6.68.

Spirit also announced that its sales in the final quarter would be in line with “the high end of the guidance range”, noting that “bookings for the peak travel period, namely Christmas and New Year, have been strong”.

Wayfair, the online furniture specialist, was congratulated (+10.22%) after announcing objectives to reduce its costs by cutting 1,650 jobs, or 13% of its workforce.

An engine fire on a Boeing 747, forcing the cargo plane to make an emergency landing in Miami, did not disrupt the rise in the aircraft manufacturer’s shares (+1.60%), in turmoil since The door torn off incident in mid-flight on an Alaska Airlines aircraft in early January.

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