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12/06/24 Briefing

Wall Street closed mixed on Tuesday, pulled up by tech stocks. Investors traded cautiously ahead of this week’s inflation numbers and the Fed’s June FOMC meeting. Two of the three major stock indexes ended in the green, while one ended in the red.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) slid 120.62 points, or 0.3%, to close at 38,747.42. Eighteen components of the 30-stock index ended in negative territory, while 12 ended in positive.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 151.02 points, or 0.9%, to close at 17,343.55.

The S&P 500 advanced 14.53 points, or 0.3%, to close at 5,375.32. However, nine of the 11 broad sectors of the benchmark index closed in the red. The Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF), the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) and the Industrials Select Sector SPDR (XLI) fell 1.2%, 0.6% and 0.6%, respectively, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) gained 1.9%.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 0.9% to 12.85. A total of 10.7 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 12.8 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers by a 1.52-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. On the Nasdaq, declining issues outnumbered advancing ones by a 1.17-to-1 ratio.

Apple (AAPL) Stock Drives the Market’s Gains

Apple Inc.’s AAPL stock jumped 7.3% on Tuesday, reaching a record high and giving a chase to Microsoft Corporation’s MSFT apex position in terms of valuation. This was caused by Apple unveiling new and exciting AI features at its annual developer event and the optimism around these announcements.

Apple announced that it will now integrate its new “Apple Intelligence” technology across its products and applications including Siri, the voice assistant, and will incorporate ChatGPT into its devices.

These announcements led to the company’s stock shooting up and the tech sector, in general, becoming the biggest earning sector on a day when stock trading was otherwise choppy. So great was its impact that tech, despite being one of only two of S&P 500’s 11 Select SPDR sectors to close in the green, dragged the index into the positive zone.

Consequently, shares of Zscaler, Inc. ZS and Microsoft gained 2% and 1.1%, respectively. Both currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Investors Keenly Await Inflation Data and Takeaways From Fed Meet

Following stronger-than-expected jobs numbers released on Friday, markets have revised their expectations of the September rate cut by the Fed.  CME’s FedWatch tool currently suggests a 48.3% chance that the central bank would cut rates in September. Also, inflation numbers from May will be released today. Investors would keep a keen watch on price trends and whether the recent softening sustains.

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