S&P 500 extends streak of record highs; Tesla tumbles

S&P 500 extends streak of record highs; Tesla tumbles

/ 07:31 AM January 26, 2024

S&P 500 extends streak of record highs; Tesla tumbles

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., Dec 15, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File photo

The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high for a fifth straight session on Thursday after data showing strong U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter boosted sentiment, while Tesla tumbled following a disappointing sales forecast.

The gains extended a rally in which the S&P 500 recently hit record highs for the first time in two years, lifted by optimism about the economy and lower interest rates, as well as bets on artificial intelligence.


Tesla slumped 12 percent to its lowest since May 2023 after CEO Elon Musk warned sales growth would slow this year despite price cuts that have hurt its margins. That left the car maker’s stock market value at about $580 billion, below Eli Lilly and just above Broadcom .


The U.S. economy grew faster than expected in the December quarter amid strong consumer spending, confounding predictions of a recession after the Federal Reserve aggressively raised interest rates, with full-year growth of 2.5 percent.

READ: US fourth quarter economic growth handily beats expectations

“GDP was a good surprise for the market in that there wasn’t problematic inflation, and the consumer continues to spend money,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategy director at U.S. Bank Asset Management Group. “And so there more support for the narrative that company earnings and sales growth should be better as we press forward.”

Other data showed initial jobless claims for the week ended Jan. 20 rose to 214,000, higher than the estimated 200,000 figure.

Quarterly results next week from Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Meta Platforms will give investors a glimpse of whether those heavyweight company’s high valuations are warranted following surges in their stocks since Wall Street bottomed out in 2022.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.53 percent to end the session at 4,894.16 points.


The Nasdaq gained 0.18 percent to 15,510.50 points, while Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.64 percent to 38,049.13 points.

Other electric car makers fell following Tesla’s quarterly report late on Wednesday. Rivian Automotive lost 2.2 percent and Lucid Group dropped 6.7 percent.

READ: US weekly jobless claims at 16-month low; homebuilding eases

Humana sank 11.7 percent after it became the latest health insurer to forecast disappointing annual profits, dragging the S&P 500 healthcare sector index down 0.2 percent.

UnitedHealth and Cigna dropped 3.9 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

IBM jumped 9.5 percent after forecasting full-year revenue growth above estimates, while Comcast added 3.4 percent after the media giant topped quarterly revenue estimates.

American Airlines soared 10.3 percent after the carrier forecast largely upbeat annual profits.

Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 82 percent have surpassed expectations, LSEG data showed. That compares to a long-term average beat rate of 67 percent.

Boeing fell 5.7 percent after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration barred the troubled planemaker from expanding production of its 737 MAX narrowbody planes.

READ: Boeing shares take another hit from latest safety problem

Advancing issues outnumbered falling ones within the S&P 500 by a 4.0-to-one ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 50 new highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 97 new highs and 119 new lows.

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Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.5 billion shares traded, about average for the previous 20 sessions.

TAGS: Dow Jones Industrial, NASDAQ, s&p 500, Tesla

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