April 16, 2024

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America's future indicates a cautious start on March 1, 2024 at 1:12 p.m

America's future indicates a cautious start on March 1, 2024 at 1:12 p.m

(ABM FN-Dow Jones) US futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wall Street at midday on Friday after February was a successful month with new records for the S&P and Dow.

The S&P and Nasdaq rose between 4 and 5 percent on a monthly basis and the Dow rose more than a percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also hit its first closing high since November 2021.

Futures for the leading S&P 500 index were 0.1 percent in the red by lunchtime.

The main reason for enthusiasm among investors is overall good company figures, especially in the technology corner. Nvidia's figures are a good example of this.

Also, investors expect the Fed to cut interest rates three to four times this year, but that doesn't change the fact that many Fed chiefs, including Cleveland, still aren't sure. Atlanta Fed President Rafael Bostic said he expects the central bank's first interest rate cut this summer, but there appears to be little urgency given somewhat stubborn inflation.

This afternoon's menu in the US includes purchasing managers' indexes for industry, construction spending in January and end-consumer sentiment as measured by the University of Michigan. This confidence figure also includes inflation expectations.

Oil prices rose on Friday. April West Texas Intermediate futures were in the green 1.1 percent at $79.17, while May Brent futures settled at $82.83, also up 1.1 percent.

EUR/USD rose to 1.0814. The currency pair was at 1.0811 at the start of the trading day and at 1.0811 at the close of US stocks on Thursday.

Company news

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Troubled regional bank New York Community Bancorp posted a $2.4 billion loss. The stock fell as much as 28 percent before the market closed. The lender has now announced a new CEO and has had to admit problems with its internal controls over lending. The bank is already down more than 50 percent by 2024.

Dell Technologies posted a double-digit percentage increase in adjusted quarterly profit on Thursday as demand for its AI-optimized servers surged. Shares rose nearly 20 percent before the market closed.

Design software giant Autodesk on Thursday evening forecast stronger-than-expected sales for the new fiscal year amid strong demand for its products. Autodesk shares rose more than 9 percent before the opening bell.

Wall Street closing levels

The S&P 500 ended Thursday in the green 0.5 percent at 5,096.27, hitting an all-time high, and the Nasdaq rose 0.9 percent to 16,091.92, also a record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent to 38,996.39 points.

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