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U.S. stocks end mostly up as Dow and S&P 500 score fresh record highs

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U.S. stocks closed mostly higher Friday, with the S&P 500 eking out a fresh record high as megacap chip maker Nvidia Corp. extended its rally.

How stock indexes traded

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA
rose 0.2% to a record closing high, according to preliminary FactSet data.

The S&P 500
SPX
finished less than 0.1% higher, also booking an all-time closing peak.

The Nasdaq Composite
COMP
slipped 0.3%.

For the week, the Dow gained 1.3%, the S&P 500 rose 1.7% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.4%, according to preliminary data from FactSet.

What drove markets

U.S. stocks finished mostly higher Friday, with S&P 500 booking a weekly gain on the back of Nvidia Corp.’s
NVDA,
+0.36%

blowout earnings results after the closing bell on Wednesday.

The chip maker “lived up to the hype and then some,” Matt Stucky, chief equity portfolio manager at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co., said in a phone interview Friday of the company’s latest quarterly earnings results.

There’s “insatiable demand” for Nvidia’s AI chips, said Stucky, and the recent surge in the megacap tech company’s stock price is “just a lift to the overall market.”

Shares of Nvidia were clinging to modest gains in late afternoon trading Friday, after surging 16.4% surge on Thursday as investors cheered the company’s quarterly earning results and guidance.

Read: Nvidia now worth $2 trillion, becoming only third U.S. company to hit that mark

On Thursday, the S&P 500 saw its biggest daily percentage increase since Jan. 6, while the Nasdaq logged its largest percentage gain since Feb. 2, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Most of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors were rising Friday afternoon, with only information technology, communication services, consumer discretionary and energy trading in the red, according to FactSet data, at last check.

Meanwhile, so-called Big Tech companies — which include Nvidia as well as Apple Inc.
AAPL,
-1.00%
,
Microsoft Corp.
MSFT,
-0.32%
,
Alphabet Inc.
GOOGL,
-0.09%

GOOG,
-0.02%
,
Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
+0.23%
,
Meta Platforms Inc.
META,
-0.43%

and Tesla Inc.
TSLA,
-2.76%

—were trading mostly lower Friday, FactSet data show, at last check.

Looking ahead, the U.S. economic calendar for next week includes an estimate of gross-domestic-product growth in the fourth quarter of 2023, and a reading on inflation in January from the personal-consumption expenditures price index.

So far, “the economy is really not slowing down all that much,” said Russell Price, chief economist at Ameriprise Financial, by phone Friday. “Overall, I think that the economy is doing fine. That’s good for corporate profits.”

Read: UBS raises 2024 forecast for S&P 500 after ‘surge in AI investment’

Stocks eke out gain as Nvidia rally slows, yields slip

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