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Stock Market Today: S&P 500 closes at record as Nvidia leads bullish run in tech

Investing.com-- The S&P 500 closed at record high Thursday, led by tech, as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated rate cuts are on the table this year, adding to investor optimism that global central banks are expected to begin easing monetary policy measures in June. 

By 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the S&P 500 rose 1% higher to close at a record high of 5,156.84, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 130 points, or 0.4%, the NASDAQ Composite jumped 1.5%.

Tech shines on Nvidia rally

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) rose more than 4% to close at a fresh record high, driving the broader tech sector higher as the chipmaker continues benefit from optimism that the AI revolution will spur demand for chips. 

As well as Nvidia, Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) was also in rally mode, rising more than 3% after Stifel upgraded its the memory chipmaker to buy on expectations for a jump in memory demand.  

Powell reiterates rate-cuts ahead; ECB signals rate cuts   

In his second-day of testimony before Congress, Fed Chair Jerome Powell that the Fed is "not far" from reaching the confidence needed to cut interest rates this year, reiterating similar remarks from a day earlier.

Optimism that major central banks are set to cut rates as soon as June is gathering pace after the European Central Bank kept rates steady but cut its forecast on inflation, suggesting a faster pace of progress than previously. 

European sovereign bonds, which trade inversely to yields, jumped on the news, pushing near-term U.S. Treasury yields, with the yield on the 2-year Treasury falling 4 basis points to 4.52%.

Kroger jumps on upside guidance; Victoria's Secret slumps after weak guidance

Kroger (NYSE:KR) stock rose nearly 10% after the food retailer forecast annual sales and profit largely above Wall Street estimates on higher demand for groceries at its stores as more Americans prepare meals at home amid persistent inflation. 

Victoria's Secret (NYSE:VSCO) slid 30% after the lingerie retailer forecast weaker annual sales following a sluggish start to the year as shoppers in its key North America market switch to cheaper options.

Cybersecurity firm OneSpan (NASDAQ:OSPN) surged 23% on consensus-beating quarterly earnings, while American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) fell nearly 2% after the apparel retailer topped Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter on Thursday, as consumers snapped up full-price items during the crucial holiday shopping season in the United States.

New York Community Bancorp rebound continues

New York Community Bancorp (NYSE:NYCB) continued its rebound from a day earlier, rising 5% after credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings affirmed the real estate lender at BB+, citing the recent $1 billion cash injection. 

New York Community Bancorp announced Wednesday it had raised just over $1 billion by selling stock and warrants to a group of investors for $2 a share. While the deal provides a much needed cash injection -- amid worries about the bank's exposure to bad real estate loans -- the sale is "tremendously dilutive to common shareholders," Wedbush said in anote.

Monthly jobs report in focus 

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits was unchanged last week at 217,000, in a further sign of easing in the labor market just a day ahead of the all-important non-farm payrolls report. 

U.S. job openings fell 26,000 in January, with hiring declining as labor market conditions continue to gradually ease.

This comes ahead of the crucial nonfarm payrolls release, due Friday, which will offer more cues of the strength of the U.S. economy. 


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