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Tech rally helps to snap three day S&P 500 losing streak

Stocks rose on Monday driven by a rally in tech leaders as Wall Street focuses on a key artificial intelligence conference and new monetary policy guidance from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 75.66 points, or 0.2 per cent. The S&P 500 gained 0.63 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.82 per cent.

Nvidia shares gained 1.3 per cent on the first day of the company’s GTC Conference — where the chipmaker is expected to showcase its latest inroads in artificial intelligence. CEO Jensen Huang is also slated to give a widely anticipated keynote speech later in the day. Shares had climbed as high as 4 per cent at one stage in earlier trading.

Shares in Alphabet were up 5 per cent after Bloomberg News reported that Apple was in talks with Google to include the company’s Gemini AI in its iPhones.

Turning to US sectors, most sectors closed higher with Communication Services closing almost 3 per cent higher. Real Estate and Energy were the worst performing sectors.

The market is also eagerly anticipating the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting this week. The two-day policy Federal Open Market Committee meeting kicks off on Tuesday and will end with an announcement Wednesday.

Fed funds futures are currently pricing in a 99 per cent likelihood that the Fed will leave benchmark interest rates unchanged this week. However, the expectation for a June cut has ticked down in recent days to about 55 per cent.

A hotter-than-expected February core and wholesale inflation reading frustrated equities and sparked anxiety that the central bank may be partial toward higher interest rates for longer before its policy meeting begins.

Other overseas data due out includes Japan January industrial production and US February housing starts and building permits.

Iron Ore prices rallied over 4 per cent to finish back above $100 per tonne at $104 per tonne as China reported stronger-than-expected numbers for retail and fixed asset investment for the first two months of 2024. Retail sales rose 5.5 per cent and industrial production was up 7 per cent, both beating analysts’ expectations.

In domestic markets all eyes will be on the Reserve Bank’s policy statement at 2.30pm and governor Michele Bullock’s press conference an hour later. Market expectations are for no change to current rates. 

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

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