S&P 500 ends with record high for 2nd session in row

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 posted a second straight record high close on Monday as tech stocks added to recent gains and investors awaited upcoming corporate reports for clues on this year’s profit outlook.

Friday’s finish confirmed that the S&P 500 has been in a bull market since it closed at its low on Oct. 12, 2022, according to one commonly used measure.

Netflix, Tesla, Abbott Laboratories, Intel and Johnson & Johnson, are due to report this week.

Several top tech-related heavyweights, including Microsoft and Apple, are expected to report results next week.

“The earnings and guidance are going to be crucial to continue underpin the mega tech force in the market,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

An index of semiconductors ended up 0.3% and hit a fresh all-time high, while Nvidia also gained 0.3% and notched a fresh record. The S&P 500 technology index was up 0.4%.

Investors also await reports this week on the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index, S&P Global PMI readings and an advance fourth-quarter GDP print for possible clues on the U.S. central bank’s next policy decision.

“It does make sense that the equity market is pretty confident here, just given the strength that we’ve seen so far in the first few weeks of the year on the back of the consumer,” said Matt Stucky, chief portfolio manager for equities at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 138.01 points, or 0.36%, to 38,001.81, the S&P 500 gained 10.62 points, or 0.22%, to 4,850.43 and the Nasdaq Composite added 49.32 points, or 0.32%, to 15,360.29.

Traders have scaled back their expectations of an at least 25-basis-point rate cut first arriving in March, with focus now more on May, with a 53% chance, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

The S&P 500’s biggest daily percentage decliner was Archer-Daniels-Midland. Its shares dropped 24.2% in its biggest percentage fall in decades after placing its CFO on administrative leave for an investigation and cutting its full-year profit forecast.

Also, Gilead fell 10.2% after it said its drug, Trodelvy, failed to significantly improve survival for previously treated patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a late-stage study.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.86 billion shares, compared with the 11.42 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.17-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.38-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 82 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 161 new highs and 130 new lows.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; additional reporting by Ankika Biswas and Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel and Aurora Ellis)