U.S. stocks mostly rise as S&P 500 inches toward fresh record

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U.S. stocks were mostly rising in afternoon trading Friday, with the S&P 500 set for a fresh record high as megacap chip maker Nvidia Corp. extended its rally.

How stock indexes are trading

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average
    rose almost 90 points, or 0.2%, to around 39,159.

  • The S&P 500
    was up 4 points, or 0.1%, at 5,091, after rising as much as 0.5% earlier.

  • The Nasdaq Composite
    shed 45 points, or 0.3%, to 15,996.

For the week, the Dow was on track to gain 1.4%, the S&P 500 was heading for a 1.7% rise and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was on pace to advance 1.4%, according to FactSet data, at last check.

What’s driving markets

U.S. stocks were trading mostly higher on Friday afternoon, as Nvidia Corp.

continued contributing to positive sentiment in the market after its blowout earnings results after the bell on Wednesday.

The chip maker “lived up to the hype and then some,” Matt Stucky, chief equity portfolio manager at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co., said in a phone interview Friday of the company’s latest quarterly earnings results.

There’s “insatiable demand” for Nvidia’s AI chips, said Stucky, and the recent surge in the megacap tech company’s stock price is “just a lift to the overall market.”

Shares of Nvidia were up more than 1% in afternoon trading Friday, adding to their 16.4% surge on Thursday as investors cheered the company’s quarterly earning results and guidance.

Read: Nvidia now worth $2 trillion, becoming only third U.S. company to hit that mark

On Thursday, the S&P 500 saw its biggest daily percentage increase since Jan. 6, while the Nasdaq logged its largest percentage gain since Feb. 2, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Most of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors were rising Friday afternoon, with only information technology, communication services, consumer discretionary and energy trading in the red, according to FactSet data, at last check.

Meanwhile, so-called Big Tech companies — which include Nvidia as well as Apple Inc.
Microsoft Corp.
Alphabet Inc.

Amazon.com Inc.
Meta Platforms Inc.

and Tesla Inc.

—were trading mostly lower. Only Nvidia was posting gains on Friday afternoon in that group of seven stocks, FactSet data show, at last check.

Looking ahead, the U.S. economic calendar for next week includes an estimate of gross-domestic-product growth in the fourth quarter of 2023, and a reading on inflation in January from the personal-consumption expenditures price index.

So far, “the economy is really not slowing down all that much,” said Russell Price, chief economist at Ameriprise Financial, by phone Friday. “Overall, I think that the economy is doing fine. That’s good for corporate profits.”

Read: UBS raises 2024 forecast for S&P 500 after ‘surge in AI investment’

Companies in focus

Steve Goldstein contributed to this article.


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