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Wall Street is drfting near record highs and headed for another winning week
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Wall Street is drfting near record highs and headed for another winning week

  • PublishedMay 17, 2024

Stocks are drifting near their record levels as Wall Street heads for the finish of another winning week. The S&P 500 was little changed in early trading Friday and on track for a fourth straight week of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 24 points, a day after briefly topping 40,000 for the first time. The Nasdaq composite was flat. Reddit jumped after announcing a partnership where OpenAI will bring the social-media company’s content to ChatGPT and become an advertising partner. GameStop and AMC Entertainment gave back more of their stupefying gains from the start of the week.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Wall Street was slow to engage early Friday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly cleared the 40,000 mark for the first time the previous day.

Futures for the Dow and the S&P 500 were unchanged before the bell Friday and had plenty of room to hang on to what’s been a strong week for stocks.

Meme stocks continued to give back their massive gains from Monday and Tuesday, with video game retailer GameStop falling 17% in premarket after saying that net sales in the first quarter would decline. Movie chain AMC Entertainment slid 7.8%. After more than doubling the first two days of the week, each are on track to post double-digit losses for the third straight day.

Reddit surged 10% before the bell after the internet message board company said it was teaming up with ChatGPT to give OpenAI access to its data application programming interface. Reddit users and moderators will also gain access to new artificial intelligence-powered features, and OpenAI will become a Reddit advertising partner.

Earnings will culminate next week with a batch of reports from retailers including Macy’s, Lowe’s and Target.

Markets have climbed on some strong earnings recently and new data on inflation has raised hopes that the Federal Reserve will be able to cut its main interest rate at least once this year. The Fed has been keeping its federal funds rate at the highest level in more than two decades.

A string of worse-than-expected reports on inflation at the start of the year had put the potential for such cuts in jeopardy, but some more encouraging data has since arrived, reviving hopes that Fed will cut rates at least once before the end of the year.

Elsewhere, Chinese stocks reversed earlier losses following the announcement of fresh measures to revive the ailing property market.

China’s central bank said Friday that it was reducing required down payments for housing loans and cutting interest rates for first and second home purchases, among other moves. The announcements came after officials in Beijing reported persisting weakness in the economy, especially in the real estate industry.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.1% to 19,591.29 and the Shanghai Composite index surged 1% to 3,154.03.

Property developers were among the biggest winners.

Shares in China Evergrande Group, the world’s most indebted developer with borrowings of more than $300 billion, jumped nearly 18%, while China Vanke, another imperiled property conglomerate, jumped 19.6%.

But while the renewed effort to get property sales back on track was welcomed in China, faster growth could slow efforts in other parts of the world to tame inflation if it adds to upward pressure on commodity prices, said Ipek Ozkardeskaya of Swissquote.

“Chinese growth will mostly be driven by robust government support to industrial production rather than improved consumer-based demand, but it doesn’t really matter who drives growth for the prices of global commodities,” she said in a commentary.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.3% to 38,787.38, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gave up 0.9% to 7,814.40.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 1% to 2,724.62.

In midday European trading, Germany’s DAX lost 0.3% and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.5%. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.4%.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil was up 4 cents at $78.78 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, went the other way, losing 2 cents to $83.25 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 155.86 Japanese yen from 155.40 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0840 from $1.0868.

On Thursday, the Dow slipped 0.1% to 39,869.38. The S&P 500 index, which is much more widely followed on Wall Street, dipped 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.3%. All three had rallied on Wednesday to all-time highs.


Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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