Wall Street ends in the green, Nasdaq and S&P 500 at their highest in almost nine months

The New York Stock Exchange ended higher on Thursday, driven by the technology sector and the frenzy around artificial intelligence, which allowed two of the three major indices to finish at their highest level of the year at the end.

The Dow Jones rose 0.34%, the Nasdaq index gained 1.51% and the broader S&P 500 index gained 0.94%. Nasdaq and S&P 500 ended at 12,688.84 and 4,198.05 points respectively, the highest in nearly nine months at the close.

As on several occasions this year, the tempo was dictated by the giant technological capitalizations of Wall Street.

“We hear a lot about artificial intelligence, and every quarter of an hour, we are shown the courses of Nvidia or Google”, commented Tom Cahill, of Ventura Wealth Management. “Everyone is getting excited about the potential of artificial intelligence…that’s what’s driving the tech industry.”

The big players in AI, whether Alphabet (+1.68%), Microsoft (+1.44%) or the graphics card manufacturer Nvidia (+4.97%) thus had the wind in their sails.

The data analysis specialist Palantir even soared (+ 14.54%), after statements by its emblematic boss Alex Karp on the favorable positioning of the group at the forefront of artificial intelligence.

Semiconductor manufacturers like Broadcom (+3.11%), AMD (+4.03%) or Intel (+2.81%), essential in the race for AI, were also sought after.

Overall, the New York market had many reasons to accelerate Thursday with, in addition to technology stocks, the demonstration of Walmart (+1.30%).

The mass distribution juggernaut did significantly better than its peers and published results that exceeded analysts’ forecasts, thanks in particular to its competitive prices, which make the chain a preferred destination in times of economic uncertainty.

Despite a slight decline in its margins, the giant of Bentonville (Arkansas), considered a barometer of consumption in the United States, raised its profit target for the whole of its staggered fiscal year (from February to January).

On the macroeconomic side, weekly jobless claims posted a surprise drop, confirming the insolent strength of the job market, and the manufacturing activity index in the Philadelphia region (northeast) rose significantly by April to May.

However, the Dow Jones took the entire session to come out of the red, in a market without enthusiasm.

“There is a lot of confusion, a lot of things to digest at the moment, between the debt ceiling and the comments of members of the Fed (American central bank) on a possible new rate hike”, argued Tom Cahill .

On Thursday, Fed Dallas Office Chair Lorie Logan said current macroeconomic data did not warrant a pause in the monetary tightening cycle at the Fed’s next meeting in mid-June.

Operators now give a 40% probability to the hypothesis of a rate hike in June, whereas they assessed it at only 10% a week ago.

Bond rates, already under pressure, reacted. The yield on 10-year US government bonds rose to 3.65%, the highest in two months.

On the side, the Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba, listed on Wall Street, drank the cup (-5.41%), weighed down by results below forecasts. Investors did not react better to the announcement of the separate listing of its subsidiary dedicated to remote computing (cloud) within 12 months.

Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive jumped (+11.69%) after publishing a turnover up 55%, above expectations, driven by its successful titles NBA 2K and Grand Theft Auto ( GTA), as well as a series of mobile games.

Netflix sprung (+9.2%) after a presentation to advertisers on Wednesday, during which those responsible for the platform indicated that they had five million “active users” of its offer including advertising.

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