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US open: Stocks trade higher as investors thumb over data points

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks were in the green early on Thursday as traders digested blockbuster earnings from chipmaker Nvidia and thumbed over a number of data points. As of 1535 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.74% at 38,898.87, while the S&P 500 advanced 1.66% to 5,064.54 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 2.46% stronger at 15,963.68.

The Dow opened 286.63 points higher on Thursday, building on modest gains recorded in the previous session.

In focus early on Thursday, Nvidia shares traded higher at the bell after revealing total revenues had surged by a whopping 265% year-on-year, driven by its artificial intelligence business. Nvidia, now the fifth-largest company in the US by market capitalisation, also told investors that more stellar revenue growth was in store for this quarter, despite trading against elevated expectations.

On the macro front, Americans lined up for state benefits at a decelerated pace in the week ended 17 February, according to the Labor Department, hitting the lowest level for new claims in five weeks. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to 201,000 last week, well below market expectations for a reading of 218,000 and the lowest claim count since the 16-month low of 189,000 recorded five weeks earlier.

Elsewhere, the Chicago Federal Reserve's January national activity index fell to -0.30 in January, down from a revised reading of 0.02 in December, indicating that activity contracted throughout the first month of 2024. The index's three-month moving average, on the other hand, increased to -0.02 in January, up from -0.14 in December.

Still on data, private-sector activity growth in the US eased slightly in February, according to figures released on Thursday by S&P Global, as a slight slowdown in the services sector outweighed an acceleration in manufacturing. The S&P Global composite purchasing managers' index declined to 51.4 this month, down from 52.0 in January. However, this was still the second-fastest rate of growth - indicated by any figure over 50 - since July 2023.

The services PMI fell to 51.3 from 52.5, missing the 52.0 expected by economists, but remained in growth territory for the 13th straight month. Meanwhile, the manufacturing PMI unexpectedly increased to a 17-month high of 51.5 from 50.7, ahead of the 50.5 consensus forecast, as firms reported a renewed increase in production amid an improvement in supply chains after adverse weather in January. Output at factories increased for the first time in three months and at its fastest pace since April 2023.

Finally, existing home sales rose 3.1% month-on-month in January, according to the National Association of Realtors, improving to a seasonally adjusted annualised clip of 4.0m, the highest level seen in five months and just ahead of expectations for a reading of 3.97m.

No major corporate earnings were slated for release on Thursday.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at

Dow Jones - Risers

Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $292.27 3.08% Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $410.12 1.97% Visa Inc. (V) $281.66 1.77% American Express Co. (AXP) $214.62 1.77% International Business Machines Corporation (CDI) (IBM) $182.82 1.74% Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $322.60 1.72% Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $394.23 1.54% Home Depot Inc. (HD) $368.66 1.24% JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $182.27 0.76% Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $108.33 0.61%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $21.40 -1.61% Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $40.49 -1.50% Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $158.75 -1.03% Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $60.63 -1.00% Intel Corp. (INTC) $43.15 -0.74% Chevron Corp. (CVX) $154.45 -0.64% Nike Inc. (NKE) $104.68 -0.56% Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $127.77 -0.27% Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $48.40 -0.17% Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $521.17 -0.15%

S&P 500 - Risers

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $778.17 15.33% Synopsys Inc. (SNPS) $604.76 11.26% Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) $178.94 8.92% Quanta Services Inc. (PWR) $228.29 8.08% Royal Caribbean Cr (RCL) $122.30 6.44% Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) $1,294.53 5.46% Arista Networks Inc. (ANET) $268.35 5.44% Iron Mountain Inc (New) (IRM) $72.17 5.31% Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $200.18 5.18% Cadence Design Systems Inc. (CDNS) $305.76 5.16%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Teleflex Inc. (TFX) $239.35 -4.62% Newmont Corporation (NEM) $32.03 -4.19% CenturyLink Inc. (LUMN) $1.50 -3.55% J. M. Smucker Co. (SJM) $121.96 -3.27% Agilent Technologies Inc. (A) $130.94 -3.24% General Mills Inc. (GIS) $63.73 -2.87% McCormick & Co. (MKC) $65.86 -2.47% Amer Water Works (AWK) $118.90 -2.32% ConAgra Brands Inc (CAG) $27.76 -2.27% Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) $41.64 -2.25%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $778.17 15.33% Synopsys Inc. (SNPS) $604.76 11.26% Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) $1.32 8.18% Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) $1,294.53 5.46% Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $200.18 5.18% Cadence Design Systems Inc. (CDNS) $305.76 5.16% Asml Holdings N.V. (ASML) $950.17 4.62% Group Limited (TCOM) $43.84 4.60% Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $85.13 4.47% KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC) $680.84 4.44%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $21.40 -1.61% Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) $72.12 -1.47% Incyte Corp. (INCY) $59.59 -1.23% Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) $35.99 -1.11% Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $135.01 -1.03% Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $41.43 -1.00% Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) $191.96 -0.91% Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR) $144.18 -0.86% Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ) $73.22 -0.79% Intel Corp. (INTC) $43.15 -0.74%

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