April 21, 2024

The U.S. economy is humming along

This report is from today’s CNBC Daily Open, our international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

Wall Street surges
The S&P 500 soared to new highs on Thursday fueled by Nvidia’s blockbuster earnings that lifted the broader market and tech sector. The S&P 500 gained 2.11%, notching its best day since January 2023. The Nasdaq Composite advanced nearly 3%, while the Dow jumped 1.18%, closing above the 39,000 level for the first time ever.

Reddit files for IPO
Social media firm Reddit filed its IPO prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. Its market debut would mark the first major tech initial public offering of the year. The company plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “RDDT.”

Novavax soars
Shares of Novavax spiked after the company settled its bitter dispute over canceled Covid vaccine purchase with Gavi, a nongovernmental global vaccine organization. The settlement removes what some analysts considered one of the biggest uncertainties around the Covid shot maker.

Historic moon landing
Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission has landed on the moon, in a historic first for a U.S. company. The company’s Nova-C cargo lander, named “Odysseus,” is the first American spacecraft to land on the lunar surface since 1972. “We are on the surface … welcome to the moon,” Intuitive Machines’ mission control said. “Odysseus has found his new home.”

[PRO] ‘Seven Samurai’ 
With Japanese markets enjoying a bull run, Goldman Sachs has named “Seven Samurai” stocks in the country, which it highlighted could be to equivalent to the U.S.’s “Magnificent Seven.”

The U.S. economy appears to be humming along, at least for now.  

A key gauge showed cost pressures for manufacturers and service businesses eased again February. 

An early read of S&P Global’s composite index of purchase managers fell slightly to 51.4, albeit at a softer pace than in January.

Service sector growth cooled slightly but manufacturing staged a solid return to growth, with factory output growing at the fastest rate for ten months.

It is “welcome news that both manufacturing and services are expanding again for the first time in three months,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global, adding the expansion “is being accompanied by subdued price pressures.”

The latest data indicates the economy “continued to expand midway through the first quarter, pointing to annualized GDP growth in the region of 2%,” Williamson further noted.

While there is reason for optimism, things could still go wrong as noted by Fed vice chair Philip Jefferson on Thursday.

“Looking ahead, I see at least three key risks,” Jefferson said. “Consumer spending could be even more resilient than I currently expect it to be, which could cause progress on inflation to stall.” 

“Second, employment could weaken as the factors supporting economic growth fade,” he added.

Geopolitical risks could also remain elevated, Jefferson pointed out.

“A widening of the conflict in the Middle East could have greater effects on commodity prices, such as oil, and on global financial markets.”

Overall, this means while the U.S. economy may dodge a recession or even a soft landing, there is still a need to adapt to continuing risks.

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