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Nvidia May Lead Early Upward Move On Wall Street

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June 20 2024 9:10AM

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a higher open on Thursday, with stocks likely to move the upside as trading resumes following the Juneteenth holiday on Wednesday.

A notable advance by shares of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) may contribute to early strength on Wall Street, as the AI darling is surging by 3.7 percent in pre-market trading.

Nvidia shot up by 3.5 percent during trading on Tuesday, surpassing Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as the world’s most valuable public company.

The futures remained positive after the Labor Department released a report showing a modest pullback by first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended June 15th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims dipped to 238,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 243,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to fall to 235,000 from the 242,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, a separate report released by the Commerce Department unexpectedly showed a steep drop in new residential construction in the U.S. in the month of May.

Following the strong upward move seen over the course of Monday’s session, stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Tuesday. Despite the choppy trading, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq once again reached new record closing highs.

The major averages all finished the day modestly higher. The S&P 500 climbed 13.80 points or 0.2 percent to 5,487.03, the Dow rose 56.76 points or 0.2 percent to 38,834.86 and the Nasdaq inched up 5.21 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 17,862.23.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came following the release of a mixed batch of U.S. economic data, with reports on retail sales and industrial production telling two separate stories.

The Commerce Department released a report showing retail sales crept up by 0.1 percent in May after dipping by a revised 0.2 percent in April.

Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the unchanged reading originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding an increase in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales edged down by 0.1 percent in May after slipping by a revised 0.1 percent in April.

Economists had expected ex-auto sales to climb by 0.2 percent, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.

“Retail sales came in really light this morning and while that may be good news for inflation hawks, it could be the beginning of a slowdown in growth, which would hurt a lot more than a couple of interest rate cuts would help,” said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve released a separate report showing industrial production increased by much more than expected in the month of May.

The Fed said industrial production jumped by 0.9 percent in May after coming in unchanged in April. Economists had expected industrial production to rise by 0.3 percent.

While most of the major sectors showed only modest moves, gold stocks saw considerable strength amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.5 percent.

Significant strength was also visible among semiconductor stocks, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index climbing by 1.4 percent to a record closing high.

Banking and computer hardware stocks also saw some strength on the day, while housing stocks saw notable weakness, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 1.6 percent.