Technology stocks lift Nasdaq as Dow retreats from 40,000 milestone

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21st May 2024 – (New York) On Monday, U.S. stocks closed with a mixed performance as technology stocks climbed while the Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled back from its recent milestone of 40,000 points. The Dow fell by 196.82 points, or 0.49 per cent, settling at 39,806.77. The S&P 500 edged up by 4.86 points, or 0.09 per cent, reaching 5,308.13. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index rose by 108.91 points, or 0.65 per cent, hitting a record close for the ninth time this year at 16,794.87.

Among the primary S&P 500 sectors, seven closed in negative territory. Financials and consumer discretionary sectors led the declines, dropping by 1.21 per cent and 0.72 per cent, respectively. Conversely, technology and communication services sectors led the advances, rising by 1.32 per cent and 0.34 per cent, respectively.

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Philip Jefferson commented on Monday, noting that although certain inflation indicators have slowed down recently, it is too early to determine if inflation is on a sustainable path towards the target of 2 per cent. Jefferson stated, “It is too early to tell whether the recent slowdown in the disinflationary process will be long-lasting. The better reading for April is encouraging.”

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic highlighted the robustness of the U.S. economy but acknowledged significant risks in the future outlook. These risks include inflation, policy uncertainty, and geopolitical factors, according to Bostic.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester emphasized the need for further evidence on the inflation trajectory before considering any adjustments to interest rates. Mester, who had previously supported three rate cuts in the year, indicated that more data is required to make informed decisions.

JPMorgan Chase and Cisco were notable contributors to the Dow’s decline, with JPMorgan Chase’s stock falling by 4.5 per cent and Cisco’s shares down by 2.16 per cent. Other contributors to the Dow’s retreat included Home Depot, McDonald’s, and Travelers.