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S&P 500 ends at record high after briefly hitting 5,000 for first time ever

Published 02/09/2024, 02:52 AM
Updated 02/09/2024, 05:12 AM
© Reuters -- The S&P 500 ended at record high for the second-straight Thursday, and briefly touched an unprecedented 5,000 level just before the close as a surge in Disney and ARM kept the bulls marching on. 

At 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the S&P 500 Futures was up 0.1% to 4,998.76, after briefly touching the 5,000 level. The Dow Futures contract was up 48 points, or 0.1% to close at a record, while the Nasdaq 100 Futures added 0.2%.

Disney shines on Q1 report, dividend hike; ARM shows AI continue to reign supreme

Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), meanwhile, jumped more than 11% after the media and entertainment company's delivered better-than-expected fiscal Q1, hiked its quarterly dividend by 50% and reinistated a $3B share buyback plan this year.

Disney also announced new deals and upcoming events that is likely to boost performance including a major foray into the gaming business, with a $1.5B stake in EPIC Gamess. Most of the newsflow was "nearly all positive," Macquarie Equity Research said in a note, but still questioned "the offset to the linear networks from direct-to-consumer advances, and the time it will take to bring about meaningful."

Arm Holdings ADR (NASDAQ:ARM) holdings surged 48% after the chip designer's current quarter guidance topped Wall Street estimates following fiscal Q3 results that beat analyst estimates. The upbeat guidance was driven by strong AI-led demand for its chip designs, which are licensed by major tech firms including Google, Nvidia, Apple.

PayPal leads financials lower as weaker guidance weighs

PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) fell 11% to lead the broader financial sector lower after the payment processing company said it expects full-year earnings to be $5.10 a share, missing estimates of $5.48. The softer guidance offset quarterly results that beat estimates on both the top and bottom line.s

The guidance "calls for roughly flattish growth for both transaction gross profit dollars and non-GAAP EPS," UBS said in a note, suggesting fiscal 2024 will be the third consecutive year of total company gross profit growth hovering around the ~0% growth level."

Ralph Lauren surges as holiday season shopping drives earning beat  

Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) jumped more than 16% the apparel maker's better-than-expected quarterly drew a string of upgrades from Wall Street.

"[I]t's extremely impressive that management has been able to navigate the current macro environment," Wedbush said as it lifted its price target on the stock to $172 from $125. Ralph Lauren's average unit retail growth is expected to remain positive, Wedbush added, but at a "lower rate because they have less inflationary costs to pass on to the consumer."

Labor market continues to show strength as Fed speakers echo higher for longer rates

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits in the week ended Feb. 3 fell by 9,000 to 218,000, adding to a slew of recent data showing the labor market remains strong.

The recent strength in the labor market, which threatens to boost wages and inflation, has muddied investor expectations on aggressive Federal Reserve rate cuts this year. 

Richmond Fed president Tom Barkin on Thursday acknowledged that "robust" economic growth and a strong tight labor market gives the Fed time to hold off starting the "process of toggling rates down."

Revisions to inflation data eyed

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release the annual update of seasonal adjustment measures for consumer price inflation for 2023. The annual revisions seek to filter out seasonality in consumer price index data to give cleaner view of the trajectory of inflation. 

In his January press conference, Fed chair Jerome Powell said the revisions would be "one piece of data I will be watching closely." 

"My hope is that the revisions confirm the progress we have seen, but good policy is based on data and not hope," he added.

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