Updated March 23rd, 2024 at 10:07 IST

S&P 500 ends week near flat but notches biggest weekly gain of 2024

While Nasdaq saw a slight uptick for the day, alongside gains in semiconductor index driven by ongoing enthusiasm surrounding AI, the Dow closed lower.

Reported by: Business Desk
Wall Street news | Image:Unsplash
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Wall Street in focus: The S&P 500 closed with marginal changes on Friday, yet it achieved its most significant weekly percentage gain of the year following the Federal Reserve's commitment to maintain projections for three interest rate cuts by the end of 2024.

While the Nasdaq saw a slight uptick for the day, alongside gains in the semiconductor index driven by ongoing enthusiasm surrounding artificial intelligence, the Dow closed lower.

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Consumer discretionary shares experienced a dip on Friday, with Nike shares falling by 6.9 per cent after the company issued a warning regarding revenue expectations for the first half of fiscal 2025.

Lululemon Athletica shares also declined by 15.8 per cent after the company's forecast for annual revenue and profit fell below expectations.

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The Fed's decision earlier in the week to keep rates unchanged while signaling a commitment to rate cuts later in the year was received positively by the market, with investors interpreting it as a shift from viewing the Fed as an adversary to seeing it as a potential ally.

Market sentiment has shifted notably, with traders now pricing in a higher likelihood of the first rate cut occurring in June compared to earlier in the week.

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Despite Friday's mixed performance, for the week, the S&P 500 saw a gain of 2.3 per cent, marking its most crucial weekly advance since mid-December. Similarly, the Dow climbed by 2 per cent, its most significant weekly gain since mid-December, while the Nasdaq rose by 2.9 per cent, registering its most notable weekly percentage increase since mid-January.

Analysts caution that after the recent gains in the market, a pullback, correction, or sideways trading period could be on the horizon.

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Among notable gainers on Friday was FedEx, which surged by 7.4 per cent following better-than-expected quarterly profit results. 

Conversely, Digital World Acquisition saw a decline of 13.7 per cent after shareholders approved its merger with the former US President Donald Trump's media and technology company.

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Trading volume on US exchanges remained moderate.

Overall, 10 of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors are poised to end the week with gains.

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(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published March 23rd, 2024 at 10:07 IST