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Wall Street edges higher on tech gains, ‘meme’ shares rally

A Wall Street sign pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan’s New York City, New York, USA, April 16, 2021. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri / File Photo

U.S. stock indices rose slightly in early trading Wednesday, driven by gains in heavyweight technology stocks, though investors avoided big bets ahead of key inflation data this week and an upcoming Federal Reserve meeting.

Purchases of so-called “meme shares” by smaller private investors continued, with the new favorite Clover Health (CLOV.O) rising 13.8% to a record high. Read more

GameStop (GME.N) – the company most closely associated with this year’s retail rally – fell 1.3% ahead of its quarterly results due to the clock.

The so-called “meme” stocks have dominated trading volume over the past few weeks as retailers take up the hyping of stocks with the highest number of short positions.

“It will be consistent and participation is good, but there is still a risk of high speculation and market manipulation within these meme stocks,” said Rob Sechan, managing partner and co-founder of NewEdge Wealth.

Major bank stocks including Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Citigroup (CN) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) fell between 0.2% and 0.9% as US government bond yields reached a low level of more than a month.

Small gains in heavyweight technology, especially the FAANG group, gave the Nasdaq (.IXIC) a slight boost.

But Wall Street indices have moved slightly this week amid a lack of signs, with most investors holding on to the sidelines ahead of key inflation data on Thursday.

“I think we’ll stay in a grinding pattern a bit where investors are trying to figure out whether inflation should be more sustained or more transient,” NewEdge Wealths Sechan said.

The Fed’s meeting next week is also expected to shed more light on the bank’s growing political plans. While inflation has risen in recent months, a sluggish labor market is generally expected to keep the bank deaf.

Kl. 9:44 ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 29.83 points or 0.09% at 34,569.99 and the S&P 500 (.SPX) rose 5.17 points or 0.12% to 4,232.43. The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) rose 58.02 points, or 0.42%, to 13,982.93.

U.S. listed Chinese stocks showed little response to extensive legislation aimed at strengthening the ability of the United States to compete with Chinese technology, although the movement received criticism from Beijing. Read more

Campbell Soup Co (CPB.N) fell 5.6% after reporting reported profits below expectations, cutting back on full-year earnings expectations due to higher costs. Read more

Drugmaker Merck & Co (MRK.N) rose 1.9% after saying the US government had agreed to buy about 1.7 million courses of the company’s experimental COVID-19 treatment, molnupiravir, for about $ 1.2 billion, if approved in the country. Read more

Forward issues exceeded the number of declines by a 1.19-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Forward issues exceeded the number of declines by a ratio of 1.55 to 1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 15 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 73 new highs and two new lows.

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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