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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

US close: Stocks hit new records ahead of hectic week

(Sharecast News) - US stock markets performed strongly on Monday, kicking off a busy week on the front foot, with both the Dow and S&P 500 continuing to set fresh record highs and the Nasdaq Composite nearing its all-time peak. The Dow finished 0.6% higher at a new high of 38,333.45, while the S&P 500 gained 0.8% to another new record of 4,927.93.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite is now under just 3% from its all-time closing high of 16,057.44 reached in November 2021, while the Nasdaq 100 continues to set new records.

Helping lift risk appetite was optimistic comments from investment giant BlackRock, which upgraded its stance on US stocks from 'neutral' to 'overweight', predicting that the upward trajectory of the S&P 500 should continue for the next six to 12 months as inflation eases and the Federal Reserve finally cuts interest rates.

Investors were largely shrugging off further escalation in the Middle East, after new attacks on shipping in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels and a drone attack on a US service base killed three American soldiers.

Nevertheless, oil prices pulled back on Monday, having risen nearly 10% since the start of the year. WTI crude was down 1.3% at $76.98 a barrel, though still markedly higher than the $70 level seen at the end of December.

Busy week ahead

No major results or economic data were due on Monday. However, Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Meta Platforms will report their results over the next three sessions and have the potential to move markets since the five blue chip tech stocks represent 22% of the S&P 500 by market cap.

Meanwhile, the Fed's two-day policy meeting culminates on Wednesday but is widely expected to see the central bank stand pat on interest rates. However, investors will be on the lookout for more clarity on the outlook for rates since market expectations of a cut in March have been recently pushed back following resilient economic data.

"Between elevated inflation, strong economic growth, and a resilient jobs market, there should be little reason to believe that the Fed will move before the likes of the ECB," said analyst Joshua Mahony from Scope Markets.

Finally, the week will be capped off by the all-important US jobs report on Friday, which is currently expected to show that non-farm payrolls came in at 180,000 in January, down from 216,000 in December, while hourly earnings growth eased to 0.3% from 0.4%.

Amazon and iRobot call off merger

Amazon finished in positive territory despite agreeing with Roomba maker iRobot to terminate their planned merger amid opposition from EU regulators, while iRobot shares dropped 9%.

Amazon announced in August 2022 that it had agreed to buy iRobot in a $1.7bn deal. However, in a statement on Monday the companies said the proposed deal "has no path to regulatory approval" in the European Union, preventing them from moving forward together.

Financial services group SoFi Technologies was a standout riser, surging over 20% after beating analysts' estimates with both revenues and profits in its fourth quarter.

McGrath RentCorp was also rising strongly, jumping nearly 11% on the back of a WillScot Mobile Mini offer to buy the B2B rental firm for $3.8bn.

Dow Jones - Risers

Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $287.86 2.83% Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $97.49 2.23% Visa Inc. (V) $273.66 2.13% Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $409.72 1.43% Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $303.25 1.28% Nike Inc. (NKE) $103.88 1.10% Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $380.56 0.73% Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $59.73 0.61% Amgen Inc. (AMGN) $313.45 0.54% Walmart Inc. (WMT) $165.04 0.47%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $42.05 -0.83% Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $22.72 -0.57% Apple Inc. (AAPL) $191.73 -0.36% American Express Co. (AXP) $200.86 -0.28% International Business Machines Corporation (CDI) (IBM) $187.14 -0.15% Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $211.08 -0.15% Boeing Co. (BA) $205.19 -0.14% Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $159.36 -0.09% Chevron Corp. (CVX) $149.08 -0.04%

S&P 500 - Risers

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) $0.56 10.02% Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM) $54.95 5.55% Carnival Corp. (CCL) $16.55 4.55% Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $146.72 4.33% Carmax Inc. (KMX) $72.95 4.05% Estee Lauder Co. Inc. (EL) $135.48 3.60% Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) $2,406.12 3.37% Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $63.76 3.20% Royal Caribbean Cr (RCL) $127.39 3.18% Vulcan Materials Co. (VMC) $229.37 3.15%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) $19.21 -3.13% CenturyLink Inc. (LUMN) $1.36 -2.86% HP Inc (HPQ) $29.24 -2.53% International Paper Co. (IP) $36.70 -2.26% Kohls Corp. (KSS) $28.07 -2.16% Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $88.63 -2.00% Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) $73.34 -1.98% Gallagher Arthur J (AJG) $228.84 -1.82% CH Robinson Worldwide Inc (CHRW) $85.84 -1.77% Gap Inc. (GPS) $19.41 -1.67%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $146.72 4.33% Tesla Inc (TSLA) $190.93 4.19% Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $63.76 3.20% Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (ULTA) $508.13 2.95% Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) $0.89 2.87% Workday, Inc. (WDAY) $296.73 2.81% Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) $630.23 2.66% Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $59.75 2.61% Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $624.65 2.35% Align Technology Inc. (ALGN) $270.39 2.31%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

NetEase Inc. Ads (NTES) $99.30 -2.89% Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $88.63 -2.00% JD.com, Inc. (JD) $23.46 -1.68% American Airlines Group (AAL) $14.94 -1.26% Sirius XM Holdings Inc (SIRI) $5.28 -1.12% Trip.com Group Limited (TCOM) $37.09 -1.07% Mercadolibre Inc. (MELI) $1,777.43 -1.02% Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $8.99 -0.77% QUALCOMM Inc. (QCOM) $149.64 -0.72% Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) $138.58 -0.60%

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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