• US stocks climb
  • Rate cut in July, says Goldman
  • PPI reading surprises

4:16pm: Apple, Nvidia lead Big Tech gains

US stocks were mixed at the closing bell, with the Nasdaq finshing the day higher as Wednesday’s surprise producer price reading drove a rally in Big Tech stocks.

The Nasdaq added 271 points or 1.7% at 16,442 points. Leading the tech rally were Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL, ETR:APC) and NVIDIA Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA, ETR:NVD), both up more than 4%, and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN, ETR:AMZ), which gained 1.7%.

The S&P 500 added 0.7% at 5,199 points while the Dow Jones closed just below the flatline at 38,459 points.

Rent the Runway shares closed 161.9% higher after the fashion rental platform delivered upbeat fiscal 2024 guidance, projecting it will achieve cashflow breakeven for the year.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) shares, on the other hand, closed down 5.3% following a Wall Street Journal report its wealth arm is being probed by several federal regulators.  

1.58pm: Markets see green into afternoon

The Nasdaq racked up a 204-point gain to sit at 16,374 come Thursday afternoon, while the S&P 500 and Dow Jones followed suit, adding 16 and 32 points respectively. 

Markets had looked downbeat earlier in the day, as traders digested a shock consumer price index reading on Wednesday, followed by higher-than-expected core producer price inflation on Thursday.

Such readings had sent expectations for summer cuts to base interest up in the air.

“It seems increasingly likely that the Fed will need to delay cutting interest rates,” XTB analyst Kathleen Brooks explained, “as the US economy remains resilient and the inflation rate remains hot”.

Among companies, Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE, ETR:NKE) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL, ETR:APC) held onto strong gains after each receiving positive commentary from analysts earlier in the day.

Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) emerged as a big riser with gains of 7% in the meantime, following a downtrodden week on news a potential takeover by Skydance, while the company also unveiled plans to relaunch its ‘Scary Movie’ franchise today.

Elsewhere, Globe Life Inc (NYSE:GL) continued lower following allegations of fraud from Fuzzy Panda Research, with the shares down 41% by the afternoon.

Fastenal Co (NASDAQ:FAST) and CarMax Inc (NYSE:KMX) also faced hefty falls after both disappointed with earnings earlier in the day amid difficult economic backdrops for both the construction and auto markets.

11:45am: Markets mixed by late morning

The Nasdaq emerged as an outlier with a 56 point gain to take it to 16,227 by late morning, as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones both slipped on more economic data.

Some 202 points were wiped off the Dow Jones, adding to yesterday’s losses and taking the index to 38,258, while the S&P 500 sat 5 points lower at 5,154.

This came after core producer price index inflation came in hotter than expected earlier in the day, while weekly jobless claims came in lower than anticipated.

Following Wednesday’s consumer price inflation shock, Validus Risk Management’s Ryan Brandham commented the latest data provided nothing to derail new expectations that base interest rate cuts would now be later in the year.

Among companies, Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE, ETR:NKE) saw strong gains of 3% after an upgrade from Bank of America analysts on “finally achievable” estimates.

JPMorgan’s favourable comments on Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL, ETR:APC) and the potential for AI to spark re-ratings saw the technology giant’s shares climb 1%.

Shedding value though was Globe Life Inc (NYSE:GL) after Fuzzy Panda Research disclosed a short position in the firm, alongside alleging fraud.

9.33am: US stocks open slightly higher 

Wall Street opened a tad higher on Wednesday after mixed reaction from the market in response to PPI data.

The Dow Jones lifted 65 points to 38,527, while the Nasdaq jumped 66 points to 16,229.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rose 10 points to 5,170.  

Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius says the firm is now prepping for two rate cuts instead of three in 2024 after core PPI came in ahead of estimates. 

Predicting a first rate cut in July, he said: “I am optimistic that we are rebalancing the labour market, and we will bring down inflation over time – for me none of those things have changed.

“However, what has changed is the timing of the Fed adjusting because that’s going to depend a lot more on the month-on-month inflation news, which has clearly been disappointing.”

In equities, Carmax, the use vehicle retailer, sunk around 8.5% after it reported a mix of weak revenues and profits.

Company news remained quiet during the weeks surrounding Easter, however, starting tomorrow earnings releases will become more frequent. 

On Friday, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup are all due to report. 

8.37am: Wall Street to open lower after core PPI comes in hot

US markets are on track to open lower as the markets react to another set of inflation data that shows inflation is still persisting.  

The producer price index came in at 2.1%, ten basis points lower than the markets had forecast but up against last month’s 2.1%.

However, core PPI, which strips out volatile energy and food prices, came in above the 2.3% consensus at 2.4%, up from February’s 2%.

The Dow Jones is set to open around 181 points lower at 38,586, while the S&P 500 is positioned 25 points down at 5,183.

The Nasdaq is looking likely to open around 65 points lower at 18,131. 

Investors have been reacting to the fallout of a hotter-than-expected inflation report on Wednesday after all three indexes tumbled towards the close.

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