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S&P 500 hits highest closing level in 2023

Stocks climbed Thursday as the market built on its recent gains, and traders looked ahead to key inflation data next week as well as the Federal Reserve’s latest policy announcement.

In addition, the latest reports show that initial jobless claims increased to 261,000, surpassing the consensus estimate of 240,000 and the previous week’s revised figure of 233,000. This marks the highest weekly level since October 2021.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 168.59 points, or 0.5 per cent, to close at 33,833.61. The S&P 500 traded 0.62 per cent higher and ended the day at 4,293.93 — its highest closing level in 2023. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.02 per cent, closing at 13,238.52.

Investors are adopting a wait-and-see approach ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, as economic indicators indicate a slight decrease in inflation while remaining above the central bank’s target, potentially allowing the Fed to pause in June and maintain flexibility for future decisions.

The S&P 500 is coming off a down session but is still within striking distance of the key 4,300 level. The broader market index also hit its highest level since August this week, adding to a 2.7 per cent rally month to date. The index is higher 11.8 per cent year to date.

Small-cap stocks have been showing strength in recent weeks. The Russell 2000 is up 7.5 per cent in June and almost 7 per cent year to date, indicating a potentially more resilient economy beyond the big-tech boom. However, the index dipped 0.4 per cent on Thursday.

In company news, shares of used-car retailer Carvana Co closed up 56.0 per cent on Thursday with some help from traders covering their bearish bets after the company forecast second-quarter adjusted earnings above Wall Street expectations due to cost-cutting initiatives.

Amazon propelled tech shares higher after bullish analyst commentary. The e-commerce giant’s shares rose 2.5 per cent and helped the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) climb more than 1 per cent.

Gold mining powerhouse, Newmont, has halted operations at its mine in Mexico due to a labour strike notice initiated by the National Union of Mine and Metal Workers. The strike is demanding an increase in the profit-sharing benefit, resulting in a trading halt for Newmont’s shares.

In commodity news, hydrogen stocks had a strong week as smaller companies outperformed, driven by the release of the Biden administration’s Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Japan’s $150 billion investment plan.

Citigroup is predicting that investors will heavily invest in the copper market in the coming years due to increased demand from electric vehicles and renewable energy, despite recent price declines caused by weakened demand in traditional sectors. Copper is emerging as a favoured commodity for investors seeking exposure to the energy transition, and they are expected to enter the market once global economic conditions improve.

Overall, US sectors are mostly mixed. Consumer Discretionary was the best performer, whilst Real Estate was the worst.

The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.4 per cent gain..


One Australian dollar at 7:20 AM was buying 67.12 US cents.


Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.29 per cent gain.

Gold has added 1.03 per cent. Silver has gained 3.48 per cent. Copper has risen 1.04 and oil has lost 1.71 per cent.

Figures around the globe

Across the Atlantic, European markets closed mixed. London’s FTSE fell 0.32 per cent, Frankfurt added 0.18 per cent while Paris closed 0.27 per cent higher.

In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.85 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.25 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.49 per cent higher.

Yesterday, the Australian sharemarket closed 0.26 per cent lower at 7099.66


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Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.

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