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20/05/24 Briefing

US stocks tilted higher on Monday as the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) clinched a record close buoyed by shares of Nvidia (NVDA) ahead of the chipmaker's highly anticipated earnings later this week.

The broader S&P 500 (^GSPC) index rose 0.1% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) dipped below 40,000, weighed on by a drop in JPMorgan (JPM) shares. The blue-chip benchmark dropped 0.5% following a record close on Friday.

Stocks have gained as investors become more optimistic that the Federal Reserve will soon cut interest rates, despite words of caution from policymakers. Even one of Wall Street's biggest bears has lifted his forecast for the S&P 500 following record highs.

A key question for investors is whether that outlook is sustainable or whether it's getting ahead of where the Fed is headed. A key test comes on Wednesday, with the release of minutes from the Fed meeting in May, as Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer reports.

On Monday Fed Vice Chair Philip Jefferson and Fed Vice Chair of Supervision Michael Barr pointed to disappointing inflation in the first quarteras a reason for holding rates where they are, allowing more time for restrictive policy to work.

The market is bracing for heavily anticipated quarterly results from Nvidia on Wednesday, eyed as a key catalyst for the rally in stocks. Expectations for the AI chipmaker's earnings and revenue are sky-high — for growth of 400% and 240%, respectively — and the focus is on whether it can again live up to the hype.

JPMorgan stock slid more than 4% following the bank's investment day where CEO Jamie Dimon signaled his retirement may be closer than previously anticipated by Wall Street.

At the same time, rallies in commodity markets are fueling fears of a knock-on rise for US inflation. Copper prices on the LME topped $11,000 a ton for the first time, soaring to their highest-ever level as a looming supply shortage draws in investors. Meanwhile, gold prices (GC=F) jumped to tap an intraday record at around $2,450 an ounce.

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