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Stock Market News for May 21, 2024

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Monday, with the Dow retreating after closing above the 40,000 mark last week and the Nasdaq finishing at a record high, driven by a tech rally as investors tried to gauge the timing of the Federal Reserve’s first interest rate cut.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) slid 0.5% or 196.82 points to finish at 39,806.77.

The S&P 500 added 0.1% or 4.86 points, to close at 5,308.13 points. Tech stocks were the biggest gainers while financial stocks were the worst performers.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) gained 1.2%, while the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) lost 1.2%. Seven of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in negative territory.


The tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 0.7% or 108.91 points to end at 16,794.87 points.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 1.33% to 12.15. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.14-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.01-to-1 ratio favored declining issues. A total of 12.31 billion shares were traded on Monday, higher than the last 20-session average of 11.82 billion.

Tech Stocks Drive Rally, Led by NVIDIA

Artificial intelligence (AI) stocks are expected to be in focus this week as NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) gears up to report its first-quarter earnings on Wednesday. The optimism surrounding AI over the past year has been fueling the tech rally and investors will be looking forward to NVIDIA’s forecast for the next quarter.

Shares of NVIDIA gained 2.5% on Monday. NVIDIA has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Dow retreated on Monday after closing above the 40,000 mark on Friday. However, Nasdaq clinched its ninth record close this year. Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) gained 0.6%, while Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) rose 1.2%.

Stocks are coming off a strong week, with the Dow and S&P 500 notching a five-week and four-week winning streak, respectively.

A solid earnings season coupled with fresh economic data that showed inflation finally starting to cool in April after increasing in the first quarter has raised optimism that the Federal Reserve will soon start its rate cuts.

Not much economic data is scheduled to be released this week but investors will be looking forward to the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last FOMC meeting, which will be released on Wednesday.

No major economic data was released on Monday.

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