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Stock Market News for Jun 18, 2024

U.S. stocks ended sharply higher on Monday, led by a tech rally, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing at fresh record highs as investors awaited a spate of economic data set to be released this week. All three major indexes ended in positive territory.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 0.5% or 188.94 points to finish at 38,778.10 points.

The S&P 500 jumped 0.8% or 41.63 points, to close at 5,473.23 points. Tech and consumer discretionary stocks were the biggest gainers.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) gained 1.5%, while the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) added 1%. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) advanced 1.8%. Eight of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.

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The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1% or 168.13 points to end at 17,857.02 points.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 0.71% to 12.75. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.44-to-1 ratio. A total of 11.12 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 11.87 billion.

Tech Stocks Rally Ahead of Economic Data Release

Investors are a lot more confident over the past week after some positive economic data that showed inflation cooling and getting a clearer picture from the Federal Reserve on its rate cut plans.

Although the Federal Reserve said that it sees only one rate cut this year, market participants believe that it will mark the beginning of the Fed’s rate cut phase.

Growth stocks, especially tech stocks, have been on a rally since then. On Monday, megacap tech stocks extended their rally. Shares of Apple, Inc. (AAPL) gained 2%, while Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) added 1.3%. Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Investors are waiting for a spate of economic data scheduled for release this week. The May retail sales data will be out on Tuesday, followed by industrial production, home sales and housing starts data later in the week, which will give them a more concrete picture of the economy.

Markets are also waiting for comments from Federal Reserve officials who will be speaking this week.

On Monday, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said that the central bank could reduce its benchmark interest rate once this year if his economic forecast proves accurate.

Markets will remain closed on Wednesday for the Juneteenth holiday. No major economic data was released on Monday.

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