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Dow Finishes Choppy Trading Day Above 40,000 For First Time

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May 17 2024 4:35PM

Following the modest pullback seen over the course of the previous session, stocks showed a lack of direction during trading on Friday. The major average spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing narrowly mixed.

Despite the choppy trading, the Dow closed above 40,000 for the first time, rising 134.21 points or 0.3 percent to 40,003.59.

The S&P 500 also crept up 6.17 points or 0.1 percent to 5,303.27, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq edged down 12.35 points or 0.1 percent at 16,685.97.

For the week, the Nasdaq surged by 2.1 percent, while the S&P 500 jumped by 1.5 percent and the Dow shot up by 1.2 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves as they digest recent strength in the markets, which saw the major averages reach new record highs.

While recent economic data has generated optimism about an interest rate cut in the coming months, comments from Federal Reserve officials have put a damper on some of the cheer.

Following the slew of U.S. data released over the past two days, the economic calendar was relatively quiet today, although the Conference Board released a report showing a continued decrease by its reading on leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of April.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index fell by 0.6 percent in April after dipping by 0.3 percent in March. Economists had expected the index to decrease by another 0.3 percent.

Among individual stocks, shares of Reddit (NYSE:RDDT) moved sharply higher after the social media company announced a partnership with OpenAI.

Online networking company Doximity (NYSE:DOCS) also surged after reporting better than expected fiscal fourth quarter results.

On the other hand, shares of GameStop (NYSE:GME) plunged after the video game retailer forecast a decrease in first quarter sales and revealed plans to sell up to 45 million class A common shares

Sector News

Most of the major sectors showed only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Gold stocks showed a substantial move to the upside, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index surging by 3.7 percent to a two-year closing high. The rally by gold stocks came amid a sharp increase by the price of the precious metal.

Oil producer, brokerage and networking stocks also turned in strong performances, while modest weakness emerged among semiconductor stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.9 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.0 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index declined by 0.3 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries came under pressure, extending the modest pullback seen over the course of the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 4.3 basis points to 4.420 percent.

Looking Ahead

The U.S. economic calendar for next week is relatively quiet, although reports on durable goods orders and new and existing home sales may attraction some attention along with remarks by several Fed officials.