Tech Surge Propels Nasdaq to Highs: In a buoyant Wall Street session, the Nasdaq surged to its highest level since July, with Microsoft’s record-breaking climb leading the charge. The S&P 500 also notched its highest close since August 1, driven by a robust performance in the information technology sector.
Microsoft’s information technology prowess propelled the S&P 500’s tech sub-index to a 1.5% gain, emerging as the top performer among the 11 major sectors. Microsoft’s shares, hitting a record high with a 2% increase, were boosted by CEO Satya Nadella’s announcement of hiring Sam Altman from OpenAI to lead a cutting-edge AI research team. The positive momentum extended to other tech giants, including Nvidia and Apple.
Investors welcomed a better-than-expected earnings season and the ongoing trend of declining Treasury yields. Bruce Zaro, Managing Director at Granite Wealth Management, highlighted the market’s favorability towards a well-behaved bond market and positive earnings reports. With a holiday mood setting in, investors may be gearing up for a potential rally in the year-end holiday season.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 203.76 points, or 0.58%, reaching 35,151.04. The S&P 500 gained 33.36 points, or 0.74%, closing at 4,547.38, while the Nasdaq Composite added 159.05 points, or 1.13%, closing at 14,284.53.
Notably, the defensive utilities sector was the weakest, ending down 0.3%, followed by consumer staples, which closed marginally lower. Wall Street’s rebound in November, after a few months of weakness, reflects optimism fueled by easing U.S. inflation and expectations that the Federal Reserve has concluded its interest rate hikes.
Investors will keep a close eye on two potential catalysts: Nvidia’s quarterly report, offering insights into the AI industry, and the Federal Reserve’s release of November meeting minutes, providing clues on U.S. interest rates. As trading volume thins ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday’s foot traffic will offer a crucial gauge of U.S. consumer spending.
Among individual movers, Bristol Myers Squibb fell 3.8% as Bayer halted a late-stage trial for a new anti-clotting drug. Boeing rose 4.6% after Deutsche Bank upgraded the aerospace company to “buy,” citing a higher price target. In summary, Wall Street’s positive trajectory, fueled by tech strength and encouraging fundamentals, sets the stage for a potentially festive year-end rally.