Stocks rose on Wednesday as investors looked to the end of an eventful month and a first quarter marked by resilience in the face of a banking crisis and looming questions about the global economy.
At the closing bell, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 1.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 1%, and the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) led the gains, up 1.8%.
Heading into the end of the first quarter on Friday, the Nasdaq is enjoying gains north of 13%, the S&P 500 is up more than 4.5% so far this year, and the Dow is lagging, down 1.3% in 2023.
This relative performance is a reflection of what we saw last year, when the Nasdaq was down nearly 30%, the S&P 500 lost more than 18%, and the Dow was down a more modest 9%.
The price of crude oil was volatile on Wednesday, trading below $73 after trading north of $74 earlier in morning trade. The 10-year yield stood near 3.55%.
Bitcoin (BTC-USD) was also significantly higher, up more than 5% to trade north of $28,000.
So far this year, bitcoin has gained more than 70%.
Wednesday’s rally in the major averages came amid a somewhat slower corporate and economic news agenda, with earnings overnight from Micron Technology (MU) and Lululemon (LULU) being the highlights during the trading session.
Shares of Micron rose more than 7% on Wednesday after the chip giant signaled overnight that its collapsing chip business could be turning a corner, with CEO Sanjay Mehrotra telling investors that “we’re on the cusp of transitioning to sequential revenue growth in our quarterly results.”
Micron reported revenue for its fiscal second quarter on Tuesday, which was down about 10% from the previous quarter and more than 50% below the same period a year ago.
Mehrotra also noted the potential positive impacts recent investor enthusiasm about AI developments could have on the industry, telling investors: “Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) provide an exciting introduction to the transformative potential of large language models, or LLMs, such as ChatGPT, which They require large amounts of memory and storage to operate. We are only in the very early stages of widespread deployment of these AI technologies and the potentially explosive growth in commercial use cases.”
Meanwhile, Lululemon shares rose more than 12% Wednesday after reporting top-and-bottom results that beat estimates, with revenue up 30% in the fourth quarter as comparable-store sales rose 27%.
On the economic data side, pending home sales data from the National Association of Realtors Show the height of the houses under contract For the third consecutive month in February.
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