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S&P 500 ends slightly lower but secures weekly gains amid mixed economic signals

The S&P 500 closed slightly lower Friday, but clinched weekly gains as the latest economic data added to a positive picture of the economy.

The broad market index inched down by 0.07 per cent to 4,890.97. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.36 per cent to 15,455.36, hurt by a post-earnings slide in Intel. The Dow Jones Industrial Average bucked the trend by adding 60.30 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 38,109.43, an all-time closing high. All three major averages are now up more than 100 per cent from their pandemic lows.

Despite Friday’s mixed session, the major averages recorded a winning week. The S&P 500 advanced around 1.1 per cent, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed about 0.9 per cent. The blue-chip Dow gained approximately 0.7 per cent.

Friday’s losses ended a six-day winning streak for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Through the end of Thursday’s session, the benchmark S&P 500 had closed at a record high for five straight trading days, the longest streak of its kind since November 2021.

Stocks got a boost last week from encouraging economic data.

December’s core personal consumption expenditures price index came in line with economists’ forecasts month over month, but was slightly lower than anticipated on an annualised basis, data released Friday shows. It’s a preferred gauge of inflation for the Federal Reserve, which sets monetary policy.

Friday’s PCE print came a day after gross domestic product data revealed higher-than-expected economic growth in the fourth quarter. That bolstered investors’ hopes that the economy has avoided a deep recession.

But sell-offs among some well-known stocks on the back of earnings reports restricted gains last week.

Chipmaker Intel tumbled nearly 12 per cent on Friday after offering a disappointing fiscal first-quarter outlook. KLA slid more than 6 per cent in the session after the semiconductor company posted light guidance for its fiscal third quarter.

On the other hand, American Express rallied more than 7 per cent after sharing a better-than-expected forecast for full-year earnings. That helped the 30-stock Dow mitigate losses from Intel’s drop.

Elsewhere, Tesla, a retail investor darling, registered its worst week since October, declining 13.6 per cent in the period. Shares took a leg down after the electric vehicle maker posted disappointing earnings and warned of trouble in 2024.

Later in the week, U.S. monetary policy will take centre stage in financial markets as the Fed is set to announce its latest rate decision early on Thursday AEDT. The world’s most significant central bank is widely anticipated to maintain its current interest rates.

Overall, When looking at US sectors, Energy was the best performer, followed by Health. Tech was the worst performer.

Futures

The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.2 per cent rise.

Currency

One Australian dollar at 7.25am was buying 65.78 US cents.

Commodities

Gold lost 0.03 per cent. Silver fell 0.24 per cent. Copper lost 0.44 per cent. Oil gained 0.84 per cent.

Figures around the globe

European markets closed higher. London’s FTSE added 1.40 per cent, Frankfurt rose 0.32 per cent, and Paris closed 2.28 per cent higher.

Turning to Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 1.34 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.60 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.14 per cent higher.

On Thursday, the Australian share market closed 0.48 per cent higher at 7,555.36.

Ex-dividends
CD Equity Fund I Pvt (ASX:CD1) is paying 5 cents unfranked
CD Equity Fund II Pvt (ASX:CD2) is paying 5 cents unfranked
CD Pvt Equity Fund III (ASX:CD3) is paying 15 cents unfranked

Dividends payable
Region Group (ASX:RGN)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.

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