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Stock Market News for May 22, 2024

U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq recording new all-time closing highs as investors weighed comments from Federal Reserve officials and looked forward to earnings from NVIDIA on Wednesday afternoon. All three major indexes closed in positive territory.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.2% or 66.22 points to close at 39,872.99 points, after finishing above the 40,000 mark on Friday.

The S&P 500 jumped 0.3% or 13.28 points, to finish at 5,321.41 points, notching its 24th record close of 2024. Utilities, financial, consumer discretionary and consumer staple stocks were the biggest gainers.

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The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) gained 0.9%, while the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) added 0.6%. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) each advanced 0.6%. Six of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.2% or 37.75 points to end at 16,832.62 points, recording its 10th all-time high of 2024.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 2.39% to 11.86. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.07-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, a 1.35-to-1 ratio favored declining issues. A total of 11.39 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 11.87 billion.

NVIDIA Earnings in Focus

Stocks resumed their rally on Tuesday after a mixed day on Wall Street that saw the Dow retreating from its all-time closing high above the 40,000 mark for the first time in history. Not much economic data is scheduled for release this week, so markets focused on quarterly results from a spate of retailers.

On Tuesday, investors focused on NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) as it gears up to report first-quarter earnings. The chip-making giant at the center of the enthusiasm surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to deliver a strong batch of quarterly results.

NVIDIA’s shares advanced 0.6% on Tuesday ahead of its earnings. The company’s shares have surged more than 92.5% year to date and 205% in the past year. NVIDIA has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Investors also digested comments from Federal Reserve officials on Tuesday. Central Bank Governor Christopher Waller said on Tuesday that he wants to see "several months" of favorable inflation data before considering lowering rates.

However, investors brushed off the concerns surrounding inflation. The upbeat sentiment saw consumer discretionary and financial stocks rallying. Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and Bank of America Corporation (BAC) each gained 2.1%. 

Investors Digest Earnings from Retailers

Investors also closely watched earnings reports from a batch of big retailers. Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW) reported earnings and revenues beat.

Lowe’s reported quarterly earnings of $3.06 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.94 per share. However, the company’s shares ended 1.9% lower.

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