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Stock Market Today: Dow rides broadening out of rally to notch 4th weekly win

0– The Dow closed higher Friday to clinch its fourth-weekly win as the broadening out of the rally amid mostly stronger quarterly results continued to support stocks just as signs of sticker inflation muddies the outlook for sooner rate cuts. 

At 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 125 points, or 0.3%, the S&P 500 gained 0.1%, and the NASDAQ Composite closed just below the flatline, down 0.03%. The main Wall Street indexes posted weekly gains of between 1% and 2%.  

Consumer sentiment takes hit as inflation outlook remains sticky

The University of Michigan Survey of Consumers sentiment index fell to reading of 67.4 for May, down from 77.2 in April as one-year inflation climbed to 3.5%, up from 0.4% a month ago. 

The fresh signs of consumer jitters about rising price pressure come just as Fed speakers continue to signal a wait and see approach about whether to cut rates.

Minneapolis Fed Pres. Kashkari expressed caution Friday about whether the current level of interest rates are restrictive enough, saying that he couldn’t rule out the possibility of a rate hike. 

Positive earnings season boosts sentiment

As the curtain closes on the earnings season, investors continued to cheer mostly better-than-expected quarterly results.

Sweetgreen Inc (NYSE:SG) was among the highlights on the earnings stage after the salad chain upgraded its full-year guidance and reported quarterly results that beat on both the top and bottom lines, sending its shares 34% higher. The positive results come as other food chains have struggled to sustain momentum amid a weakening consumer. 

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In chips, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE:TSM) led the charge, up 4.5%, as its 60% jump in April revenue from a year ago underscored the strength in demand for artificial-intelligence-related hardware, helping other chipmakers add to gains. 

But it wasn’t all positive as cloud services firm Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) reported disappointing guidance for the current quarter and for 2024, stoking a negative reaction from Wall Street as its shares fell 11%. 

Videogame software developer Unity Software (NYSE:U), meanwhile, fell more than 10% to a 52-week low after its quarterly earnings per share missed estimates as

Well over 80% of the S&P 500 have reported first quarter results, and companies are on track to have increased earnings by 7.8%, up from an expectation of 5.1% growth in April, according to LSEG IBES.

Novavax a bright spot for pharma stocks, but Moderna falters 

Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) stock more than doubled stock after the biotech company signed a deal with French drugmaker Sanofi (EPA:SASY) (NASDAQ:SNY) to develop its Covid vaccine starting next year.

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock fell 4% after the drugmaker announced that the Food and Drug Administration has delayed the approval of its vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus to the end of May due to “administrative constraints” at the agency.

(Peter Nurse, Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

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