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Nasdaq, S&P 500 set for strong open as Nvidia results light up chip stocks

Published 2024/05/23, 11:34
Updated 2024/05/23, 15:09
© Reuters. Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 17, 2024.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Ankika Biswas and Lisa Pauline Mattackal

(Reuters) - The tech-heavy Nasdaq and the benchmark S&P 500 were poised to open higher on Thursday, driven by a rally in chip stocks after Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA)'s upbeat revenue forecast cemented investor optimism around the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence technology.

The AI chip leader's stock jumped 6.9% in premarket trading, on track to open above the $1,000 mark for the first time ever and add about $165 billion in market value if gains hold.

The semiconductor bellwether also announced a stock split, following an over 90% surge in its shares this year and a threefold jump in 2023 that have made Nvidia the third-most valuable U.S. stock.

The response to Nvidia's widely anticipated results contrasts the muted, range-bound trading on Wall Street in the days leading up to the release, underscoring the company's growing significance.

Its results boosted other chip stocks as well, with Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) and Arm Holdings (NASDAQ:ARM) advancing between 2.5% and 4.7%.

AI-related stocks such as Super Micro Computer, C3.ai, Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) and SoundHound AI (NASDAQ:SOUN) also gained between 1.7% and 6.2%.

"When (Nvidia) results beat, bang, money is straight back on the table, but it's all a momentum trade," said Marc Ostwald, chief economist and global strategist at ADM Investor Services International.

"With so much uncertainty elsewhere, investors are being cautious and just sticking to what I would call 'flipping the market.' Short term trades, short term perspective."

Wall Street's main indexes closed lower on Wednesday as investors digested minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting. Rate-setters indicated they still had faith price pressures would ease at least slowly in coming months, but doubts emerged about whether the current level of interest rates was high enough to ensure that outcome.

Traders currently expect the U.S. central bank to reduce its interest rates by nearly 40 basis points by year-end.

Markets are also eyeing economic data scheduled through the day including S&P Global flash PMIs and housing figures.

Fresh data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to underlying strength in the labor market. Initial jobless claims dropped to a seasonally adjusted 215,000 for the week ended May 18, compared with expectations of 220,000.

At 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 81 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 38.5 points, or 0.72%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 223 points, or 1.19%.

The CBOE Volatility Index, also known as Wall Street's "fear gauge", hit its lowest levels since November 2019.

Among other premarket movers, data cloud analytics firm Snowflake advanced 4.6% after forecasting second-quarter product revenue above estimates and raising its annual expectations.

DuPont (NYSE:DD) climbed 5.6% on the U.S. conglomerate's plans to split into three publicly traded companies.

© Reuters. Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 17, 2024.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

U.S.-listed shares of Taiwanese contract chipmaker TSMC rose 3.2% after forecasting an annual revenue growth of 10% in the global semiconductor industry, excluding memory chips.

Shares of Ticketmaster owner Live Nation dropped 6.2% after a report that the U.S. Department of Justice could seek a break-up of the company to combat its domination of concert ticket sales.

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