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22/03/24 Briefing

US stocks closed mixed on Friday with the the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) logging a fresh record high as the prospect of a reversal from interest rate hikes buoyed investors' spirits.

The Nasdaq, which opened the day in the red, flipped into positive territory by mid-afternoon to close up about 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), which is eyeing the key 40,000 mark, fell about 0.7% while the benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) slipped 0.1%.

The gauges secured solid weekly gains, having racked up all-time closing highs after the Federal Reserve soothed worries it might scale back its forecast for rate cuts this year. Optimism that borrowing costs have peaked is also riding high on signs other big central banks are ready to pivot.

Among corporates, FedEx (FDX) shares jumped about 7% after operating margins at the parcel giant's largest unit improved amid a profit beat. But Nike (NKE) shares slid about 7% as the market absorbed disappointing sales guidance in its mixed results.

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