May 20th, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street opens higher and is headed for another weekly gain


By Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press on May 10, 2024.

FILE - The New York Stock Exchange is shown on Tuesday, April 29, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are heading toward the close of another winning week with some more modest gains. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% in early trading Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 118 points, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.4%. The S&P 500 has returned to within 1% of its record after coasting through relatively quiet trading this week. Revived hopes that the Federal Reserve may deliver cuts to interest rates this year drove the gains. So did a flood of stronger-than-expected reports on profits from big U.S. companies. Gen Digital jumped after reporting stronger profit than expected.

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

TOKYO (AP) – Global shares traded higher Friday after a rally on Wall Street that pulled the S&P 500 back within 1% of its record.

In London, the FTSE 100 rose 0.8% to 8,448.34 as the government reported that the British economy bounced back strongly in the first three months of the year, bringing to an end to what economists termed a “technical recession.”

France’s CAC 40 gained 0.8% in early trading to 8,253.19, while Germany’s DAX added 0.8% to 18,830.43.

The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% while that for the S&P 500 rose 0.4%.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.4% to finish at 38,229.11.

The Japanese Finance Ministry reported a record current account surplus for the fiscal year through March, as strong auto exports whittled down its trade deficit and the nation racked up solid returns on overseas investments.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4% to 7,749.00 and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.6% to 7,749.00.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 2.3% to 18,963.68, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed, inching up less than 0.1% to 3,154.55.

Chinese price data, expected Saturday, are being watched to see if the economy might be regaining momentum.

“Despite efforts, China has grappled with consumer deflation for about a year, presenting a formidable challenge that Beijing has yet to overcome,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 rose 0.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8%. The Nasdaq composite added 0.3%.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week that the central bank remains closer to cutting its main interest rate than hiking it, despite a string of stubbornly high readings on inflation this year.

A cooler-than-expected jobs report on Friday has suggested the U.S. economy could manage to avoid being either too hot or too cold.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 48 cents to $79.74 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, added 41 cents to $84.29 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 155.71 Japanese yen from 155.50 yen.

The weak yen has been both a blessing and a worry for Japan, as it helps boost export earnings but chips away at purchasing power.

Expectations are growing for the Bank of Japan to start raising interest rates, although how much exactly and when remain unclear. The U.S. dollar was trading at 130 yen levels a year ago.

The euro inched up to $1.0786 from $1.0782.

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