Stock market today: Stocks waver after key data as Micron slides


US stocks wobbled on Thursday after chipmaker Micron’s (MU) outlook put a dent in tech-rally hopes, as investors assessed fresh economic data ahead of an inflation reading key to Federal Reserve policy.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was little changed after rising Wednesday to close not far short of a new all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) hovered around the flatline, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) rose 0.1%.

Stocks are struggling in the wake of Micron’s sales forecast for the current quarter, which met expectations but failed to satisfy investors looking for stellar outperformance from AI-linked companies.

Bullishness around AI has helped lift the benchmark S&P 500 to a 15% gain this year. But concerns are growing that the rally could be at risk if the handful of tech companies driving most of those gains stop topping already lofty expectations.

Memory maker Micron’s shares slid more than 4% in early trading. Nvidia (NVDA) was down about 1%, reviving worries of a return to the sell-off that rattled markets last week.

Investors were weighing a new batch of economic data ahead of the PCE inflation print on Friday that will influence the Fed’s thinking on timing of interest-rate cuts.

A reading on initial weekly jobless claims came in at 233,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week, according to Department of Labor data. The print came in below a consensus expectation of 235,000. But recurring jobless claims rose to their highest since late 2021, suggesting it’s taking longer for unemployed people to find a job.

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter of 2024, according to the third estimate by the Bureau of Economic Development released on Thursday morning. The print was slightly higher than the prior estimate of 1.3%.

Inflation could also loom large in the first debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on Thursday night.

On the corporate front, Levi Strauss (LEVI) shares sank over 15% in the wake of a second-quarter revenue miss for the jeans seller. Investors will look to Nike’s (NKE) quarterly results after the bell for more clues to consumer resilience.

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    Netflix, Meta help lift Nasdaq into green territory

    Communication stocks lifted the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) into positive territory to rise 0.3% shortly after the market open on Thursday.

    Netflix (NFLX) and Meta (META) both rose more than 1%, helping lift the tech heavy sector which had previously dipped just below the flatline.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) also rose 0.2% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) was little changed.

    Meanwhile chip giant Nvidia (NVDA) was fractionally down after Micron’s (MU) sales forecast failed to enthuse investors on the AI craze that has fueled the broader market rally this year.

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    Stocks waver at open as investors weigh economic data, Micron puts lid on tech rally

    Stocks opened slightly lower on Thursday morning after a GDP reading for the first quarter of 2024 came in slightly higher than the prior print for the same three-month period.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was little changed while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) slipped 0.1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) fell just below the flatline.

    Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter of 2024, according to the third estimate by the Bureau of Economic Development released on Thursday morning. The print was slightly higher than the prior estimate of 1.3%.

    A reading on initial weekly jobless claims came in at 233,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week, according to Department of Labor data.

    On the corporate front, Chipmaker Micron’s (MU) sales forecast for the current quarter met expectations but failed to satisfy investors looking for stellar outperformance from AI-linked companies. The stock fell about 4% in early trading. AI chip giant Nvidia (NVDA) also fell almost 1% at the open.

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    Why the Levi’s quarter bothers me

    Levi’s (LEVI) shares are getting slammed by 15% in the pre-market following earnings.

    And I think it’s deserved for two reasons.

    First, China sales tanked 10% from the prior year. I have been chatting to a good number of folks of late who have recently visited China. One theme is that Chinese consumers are feeling on the gloomy side and not spending like in years past. That mood is impacting demand for Levi’s jeans, Starbucks (SBUX) coffee and — according to General Mills’ (GIS) earnings call yesterday — Haagen Dazs ice cream.

    It’s hard to see the inflection point in China.

    Same goes for the Levi’s wholesale business, or the business that sells into department stores. Sales fell 4% from the prior year. The company’s commentary suggests wholesale demand may not inflect until 2025.

    I plan to put some of my concerns to Levi’s CFO Harmit Singh today at 10:30 a.m. ET on Yahoo Finance. Tune in!



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