Updated March 8th, 2024 at 09:30 IST

Wall Street soars, S&P 500 achieves record closing high

Investor optimism regarding potential Federal Reserve rate cuts this year propelled the market forward.

Reported by: Business Desk
Wall Street | Image:Pixabay
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Wall Street rises: Wall Street surged ahead, with the S&P 500 climbing 1 per cent to attain a record closing high on Thursday, while the Nasdaq composite finished up 1.5 per cent, buoyed by technology and growth stocks. 

Investor optimism regarding potential Federal Reserve rate cuts this year propelled the market forward.

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The Philadelphia Semiconductor index outperformed the broader market, closing up 3.36 per cent at a record high as investors favoured chip companies, anticipating benefits from artificial intelligence (AI)-related demand.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before a US Senate committee, expressing confidence that inflation is moving toward the 2 per cent target, potentially paving the way for rate cuts. 

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Powell's comments boosted investor hopes for a rate cut as early as June, bolstering equity indexes that had wavered in the days leading up to his testimonies before Congress.

Labour Department data indicated that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits remained unchanged, suggesting a labour market that is softening but still robust.

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Anthony Saglimbene, Chief Market Strategist at Ameriprise Financial, highlighted Powell's acknowledgment of potential rate cuts and the positive employment data as factors contributing to market sentiment.

While investors await Friday's nonfarm payrolls report for further insights into the labour market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.34 per cent to 38,791.35, and the S&P 500 gained 1.03 per cent to 5,157.36.

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The Nasdaq Composite narrowly missed a closing record but hit an intraday high, ending up 1.51 per cent at 16,273.38.

Nine out of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors experienced gains, with technology and communications services leading the charge. 

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Megacap growth stocks like Meta and Nvidia significantly contributed to index gains.

However, Victoria's Secret & Co shares plummeted on a weak annual forecast, finishing down 29.7 per cent. Conversely, Kroger Co shares rallied 9.8 per cent after the grocer forecasted annual sales and profit above Wall Street estimates.

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Advancing issues surpassed decliners by a wide margin on both the NYSE and Nasdaq exchanges, reflecting positive market sentiment. 

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq recorded numerous new highs while shares on US exchanges saw notable trading activity.

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(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published March 8th, 2024 at 09:30 IST