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Stocks Ease Despite Benign Inflation Data, Bitcoin Stages Comeback: What’s Driving Markets Friday?

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Major stock indices were poised for a mixed session during midday trading in New York, with investors assessing another mild inflation report while taking note of personal spending growth that exceeded expectations.

The Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index — also known as the Fed’s favorite inflation gauge — held steady at 2.6% year-on-year in December 2023, remaining at the lowest levels in nearly three years. Simultaneously, personal spending figures significantly exceeded economist projections, growing by 0.7% month-over-month, leading to doubts about whether the strong economy might deter the Fed from rushing to cut interest rates.

Short-term Treasury yields ticked higher, with the two-year note yield jumping back to 4.35%, weighing on rate-sensitive sectors.

Tech stocks lagged behind, as the Nasdaq 100 declined by 0.5%, while the S&P 500 showed a slight dip. These indices have been on a winning streak for six consecutive days and are poised to secure their 12th positive week out of the last 13. Blue chips showed minor gains, while small caps were flat.

Bitcoin claimed the spotlight, surging by 4.9%, with the crypto community displaying resilience by buying the dip after reports of the Bitcoin network reaching 1 million active BTC addresses.

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Read also: Bitcoin Tops $41,000 Following PCE Inflation Data; SATS Emerges As Top Gainer

Friday’s Performance In Major Indices, ETFs

Major Indices Price Change (%)
Dow Jones 38,076.54 0.1%
S&P 500 4,889.39 -0.1%
Russell 2000 1,976.83 -0.2%
Nasdaq 100 17,438.11 -0.5%

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY eased 0.15% to $487.32, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average DIA edged 0.1% higher to $380.77 and the tech-heavy Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ fell 0.6% to $424.06, according to Benzinga Pro data.

Sector-wise, the Health Care Select Sector Fund XLV outperformed, up 0.6%. The Technology Select Sector Fund XLK underperformed, down 1.2%.

Among industries, semiconductors sold off, with the VanEck Semiconductors ETF SMH down 2.3%.

Friday’s Stock Movers

  • Intel Corp. INTC fell over 12% despite reporting better-than-expected revenue and earnings last quarter. Shares plunged after the chipmaker’s revenue and earnings forecasts for the first quarter fell short of investor expectations.
  • Other semiconductor companies, including Qualcomm Inc. QCOM, Texas Instruments Inc. TXN, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD and Broadcom Inc. AVGO, experienced a decline of approximately 2% each.
  • American Express Company AXP rose 6% to $200 per share, reaching a new all-time high, even though it did not meet earnings estimates last quarter. The stock surged as the company revealed an outlook for 2024 that exceeded expectations.
  • Other companies reacting to earnings were Visa Inc. V, (down 1.8%), T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS, (up 0.4%), Comcast Corp. CMCSA, (up 1.5%), Blackstone Inc. BX, (up 0.5%) and NextEra Energy Inc. NEE, (up 0.8%).
  • Danaher Corp. DHR rose 4.2% ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings report scheduled for early next week.

Read now: Elon Musk’s xAI Reportedly Raising $6B, Valued At $20B: What Investors Should Know

Photo via Shutterstock.

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