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S&P 500 hits record high as Wall Street gains momentum

by Germaine Labelle

In an optimistic start to the week, stock markets in the United States witnessed a surge in prices, further building on the historic momentum from the previous session. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all made notable gains, setting a positive tone for investors. The S&P 500 index climbed by 0.4%, reaching a fresh all-time high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average also achieved a record, with a 0.5% gain. Additionally, the Nasdaq Composite advanced by 0.4%, reflecting the overall bullish sentiment on Wall Street.

S&P 500 hits record high as Wall Street gains momentum

Macy’s stock rose by nearly 2% after rejecting a $5.8 billion proposal from Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management, aiming to take the retailer private. Meanwhile, SolarEdge experienced a 4.5% increase in stock value following the announcement of a workforce reduction, impacting 16% of its employees. B Riley Financial saw a decrease of approximately 5% in its stock value after Bloomberg reported ongoing regulatory investigations related to deals with a client linked to securities fraud.

Archer-Daniels-Midland faced a more significant setback, with its stock plummeting over 16% due to weak earnings guidance and the suspension of CFO Vikram Luthar amid an accounting practices investigation. The recent gains on Monday come on the heels of the broad S&P 500 index breaking above its previous intraday and closing record highs, which were established in January 2022. This milestone signifies that Wall Street remains firmly entrenched in a bull market that began in October 2022.

The strength of Wall Street appears to be contingent on the Federal Reserve’s ability to engineer a soft landing for the economy, preventing it from sliding into a recession. Investors are eagerly anticipating a series of benchmark interest rate cuts, with expectations of the initial cut taking place in March. However, uncertainty shrouds the realization of this first rate cut.

Traders are currently pricing in a roughly 46% chance of a Federal Reserve rate cut in March, according to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool. This represents a significant drop from the nearly 81% probability seen just a week earlier. Conversely, there is now a nearly 54% likelihood that the central bank will maintain interest rates at their current level, a substantial increase from the approximately 19% probability observed one week prior.

In the coming week, investors will closely monitor a series of economic reports, including gross domestic product data scheduled for release on Thursday and personal consumption expenditures prices on Friday. These reports are expected to provide valuable insights into the monetary policy outlook of central bank policymakers.

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