Wall St edges up as Tesla and Apple gain; Fed decision awaited

April 29, 2024 – 8:58 AM PDT

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes crept higher in volatile trading on Monday as shares of Tesla and Apple advanced, while investors exercised caution ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later in the week.


Tesla (TSLA.O) shares shot up nearly 14.5%, driving a 1.6% rise in the consumer discretionary sector (.SPLRCD), after the electric vehicle maker cleared some key regulatory hurdles that had long hindered the roll-out of its self-driving software in China, its second-largest market.

Apple (AAPL.O) added 3.1% after a report that the iPhone maker had renewed discussions with OpenAI about using the startup’s generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Bernstein upgraded the stock to “outperform”.

U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, buoyed by moderate inflation data and a rally in megacap growth stocks following robust quarterly results from technology heavyweights Alphabet (GOOGL.O) and Microsoft.

Also offering support, Israel-Hamas peace talks in Cairo eased fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

Focus will now shift to the Fed’s interest rate decision due on Wednesday, ahead of a key jobs report on Friday that could set the tone for market direction in the near-term.

“There are definitely some issues that are not just headline driven on inflation that investors are paying a little more attention to, and that brings back into balance things like the inflation versus safety,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner of Harris Financial Group.

Utilities (.SPLRCU) gained 1.2%, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined, last standing at 4.625%.

Money markets are pricing in just about 35 basis points (bps) of interest rate cuts this year, down from about 150 bps seen at the beginning of the year, according to LSEG.

At 11:28 a.m. the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 85.52 points, or 0.22%, to 38,325.18, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 12.46 points, or 0.24%, to 5,112.42 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) gained 40.16 points, or 0.25%, to 15,968.06.

Offsetting the optimism, the communication services sector (.SPLRCL) lost 1.7%, dragged by Alphabet (GOOGL.O) and Meta Platforms (META.O) shedding more than 2% each.

On the earnings front, Domino’s Pizza (DPZ.N) jumped nearly 5% after topping Street expectations for first-quarter same-store sales.

Of the 233 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported quarterly earnings, 78.1% surpassed analyst expectations, compared with a long-term average of 67%, according to LSEG data.

Among other movers, Paramount Global (PARA.O) gained 4.8% after a report that the Redstone family and Skydance Media CEO David Ellison have made concessions to make a potential change in control of the streaming firm more appealing for other investors.

Lower bitcoin prices weighed on cryptocurrency-linked stocks. Crypto exchange Coinbase Global (COIN.O) and crypto miners Riot Platforms (RIOT.O) and Marathon Digital (MARA.O) were down between 3.2% and 3.7%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.98-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.94-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and one new low while the Nasdaq recorded 57 new highs and 39 new lows.

Reporting by Shristi Achar A and Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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