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Tech stocks drive S&P 500 to new highs

The S&P 500 rose Wednesday as a number of big tech stocks rallied, pushing the broader market to new heights.

The benchmark S&P 500 eked out a gain of 0.08 per cent to 4,868.55, clinching a new all-time closing record. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.36 per cent to 15,481.92, helped by the tech rally. It marked the fifth straight day of wins for both.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 99.06 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 37,806.39, hurt by declines of more than 2 per cent in Verizon and 3M a day after each reported earnings.
Netflix shares surged nearly 10 per cent after the streamer said its total subscriber count hit an all-time high of 260.8 million. Revenue topped analysts’ estimates, as did current-quarter earnings guidance.

Elsewhere, Microsoft rose more than 1 per cent, sending its market value briefly higher than $3 trillion for the first time. Meta advanced 1.4 per cent, bringing the Facebook parent’s market cap above $1 trillion.

After the bell, Tesla also reported results. Tesla reported revenue growth of 3 per cent in the fourth quarter, trailing estimates. Auto sales increased just 1 per cent from a year earlier. Tesla shares have dropped about 16 per cent so far this year as of Wednesday’s close after more than doubling in 2023.

Beyond technology, AT&T slipped about 3 per cent on lower-than-expected earnings. Dupont De Nemours tumbled more than 14 per cent after preannouncing weak fourth-quarter results and issuing disappointing first-quarter guidance.

Shifting to US sectors, Energy, Communication Services and Information Technology stocks boosted the broad index on Wednesday. Materials was the worst performer.

Earnings reports will remain a focus of traders, with Las Vegas Sands and IBM due after the bell. Of the more than 16 per cent of S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly financials thus far in the earnings season, over 71 per cent have surpassed Wall Street expectations, according to FactSet.

In commodity-related news, US crude oil prices surged over 1 per cent as winter storms disrupted domestic production, resulting in a 1 million barrel per day decline in U.S. crude production and a 9.2 million barrel drop in commercial crude inventories for the week ending January 19. This development eased concerns about oversupply amid China’s economic slowdown. 

Futures

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

Currency

One Australian dollar at 8.20am was buying 65.76 US cents.

Commodities

Gold lost 0.64 per cent. Silver gained 1.37 per cent. Copper added 2.06 per cent. Oil gained 1.40 per cent.

Figures around the globe

European markets closed higher. London’s FTSE added 0.56 per cent, Frankfurt gained 1.58 per cent, and Paris closed 0.92 per cent higher.

Turning to Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.80 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 3.56 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 1.80 per cent higher.

The Australian share market closed 0.06 per cent higher at 7,519.19.

Dividends payable
360 Capital Group (ASX:TGP)
360 Capital REIT (ASX:TOT)
RAM Essential Services Property Fund (ASX:REP)

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

Disclaimer

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