April 21, 2024
Stock Market

US stock futures put rally on pause as more tests loom

US stock futures slipped on Monday to put a record-setting rally on pause, as investors girded for a week where Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony and the monthly jobs report could put equity gains to the test.

S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures shed about 0.1% after ending Friday with its 16th weekly win in 18 weeks. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) fell roughly 0.3%, while those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) were broadly flat.

Stocks have racked up gains amid a relentless AI-spurred run-up in techs, which helped the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) to finally nail a fresh all-time high after a yearslong wait. That tech rally, and Nvidia’s (NVDA) breakneck rise to a $2 trillion valuation in particular, has prompted concerns about a building bubble — though some analysts are less worried.

Also on Monday, bitcoin’s (BTC-USD) continued rise saw the cryptocurrency top $65,000 to move closer to a record high, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index (^N225) breached the key 40,000 level for the first time.

A dose of reality could lie ahead for the high hopes and the hype, when the Fed’s Powell steps up to speak and the February jobs data arrive. Both will play into calculations for interest-rate cuts and shed light on whether the US economy is headed for a “soft landing” or stagflation. Powell is set to give testimony to Congress from Wednesday, while the labor data is due on Friday.

Meanwhile, in a shot across the bows for Big Tech, EU antitrust regulators fined Apple (AAPL) almost $2 billion over App Store restrictions on Spotify (SPOT) and other music streaming services. Apple shares slipped after the news.

Among big movers, Macy’s (M) shares jumped over 16% after bidders Arkhouse and Brigade raised their buyout offer to $6.6 billion, a 33% premium to the closing price on Friday. Shares in Super Micro Computer (SMCI) also popped 16% ahead of the AI server maker’s entry on the S&P 500.

Live1 update

  • The head-shaking stats around Nvidia

    Some of the hottest Trending Tickers on Yahoo Finance this morning are crypto-related. No surprise as bitcoin has busted through $65,000 and excitement builds for a potential halving event in April.

    But to me, the main story in markets remains the frenzied trade around AI sweetheart Nvidia (NVDA). As this stock goes, so too will go the market in 2024 (and 2025, 2026, 2027…).

    A few stats on Nvidia to get you thinking:

    • Nvidia is now 3rd most valuable US company: $2.05 trillion market cap.

    • It only took 180 trading days for Nvidia’s market cap to go from $1 trillion to $2 trillion.

    • The stock is rated “buy” by 92% of the analysts covering it.

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