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27/06/24 briefing

  • Stocks edged higher on Thursday

  • ahead of PCE inflation data set to be released on Friday.

  • Shares of Micron and Walgreen dropped after earnings.

  • Jobless claims rose less that expected last week, with 233,000 people seeking unemployment benefits.

US stocks edged higher on Thursday as traders assessed corporate earnings and waited on new inflation data to help inform rate-cut bets heading into the second half of 2024.

Shares of Micro dropped 5% after the chipmaker gave less upbeat guidance for the current quarter than investors expected. The decline adds to worries that the artificial intelligence-fueled tech trade that's boomed in 2024 is stalling after a long period of extreme exuberance.

Micron's drop on Thursday comes amid a volatile week of trading for chip peer Nvidia, which has seen wild swings in its share price since it briefly became the largest company in the world last week. Nvidia stock was down nearly 1% as trading got underway.

Walgreens plummeted almost 20% on Thursday. The drug store chain beat revenue estimates for its fiscal third quarter but gave a gloomy outlook on profitability for the year. It cut its forecast due to a "challenging" environment for US consumer-facing companies.

On the macro front, jobless claims were lower than expected, declining by 6,000 to 233,000 for the week ending June 22. Claims are historically low, though they've risen in recent weeks to around 10-month highs.

The final reading of first-quarter GDP came in slightly higher than the first revision. It showed that growth in the first three months of the year was 1.4%, which observers say is solid but still slow enough to allow the Federal Reserve to potentially cut interest rates this year.

"The final estimate of Q1 GDP has been revised slightly higher…but indicates that economic growth is slowing, although still comfortably above recession levels," Chris Zaccarelli, CIO of Independent Advisor Alliance, said Thursday morning.

Finally, traders are preparing to digest the latest personal consumption expenditures data, which is the Fed preferred inflation measure. The data will roll out on Friday morning and will help investors assess the likelihood of rate cuts as the market closes out the first half of the year. According to the CME FedWatch Tool, markets seen a 58% chance the first cut happens in September.

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