UNITED STATES NEWS

Stocks suggest inflation could slow as year comes to a close

Dec 30, 2023, 6:00 PM

Stocks were drifting on the final day of trading in 2023. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)...

Stocks were drifting on the final day of trading in 2023. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are drifting on the final day of trading for 2023 in what has been a surprisingly strong year of gains on Wall Street.

Yet the so-called Magnificent 7 companies — Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Meta Platforms and Tesla — accounted for about two-thirds of the gains in the S&P 500 this year, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Nvidia leads the group with a gain of about 240%.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.1% Friday and is sitting just below the all-time high it set in January of 2022. It is up 24.6% for the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3 points, or less than 0.1%, to 37,707, a day after hitting another record. It is up more than 13% for the year.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.1% as of 9:55 a.m. Eastern and is up 44% for the year thanks largely to the movement of those marquee companies.

Shares in European markets edged higher on Friday after a year of gains. Benchmark indexes in France and Germany made double-digit advances, while Britain’s has climbed just under 4%.

Asia markets had a mixed session on the last trading day of the year for most markets. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gave up 0.2% to 33,464.17. It gained 27% in 2023, its best year in a decade as the Japanese central bank inched toward ending its longstanding ultra-lax monetary policy after inflation finally exceeded its target of about 2%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong ended flat, while the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.7%. The Shanghai index lost about 3% this year and the Hang Seng fell nearly 14%. Weakness in the property sector and in global demand for China’s exports, as well as high debt levels and wavering consumer confidence have weighed on the country’s economy and the stock market.

Wall Street is coming off a quiet day Thursday. All the major indexes are on track for weekly gains, with the S&P 500 on track for a rare ninth consecutive week of gains.

Investors in the U.S. came into the year expecting inflation to ease further as the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates higher. The trade-off would be a weaker economy and possibly a recession. But while inflation has come down to around 3%, the economy has chugged along thanks to solid consumer spending and a healthy job market.

The stock market is now betting the Fed can achieve a “soft landing,” where the economy slows just enough to snuff out high inflation, but not so much that it falls into a recession. As a result, investors now expect the Fed to begin cutting rates as early as March.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was at 3.88% Friday from 3.85% late Thursday. It surpassed 5.00% in October, but has been generally falling since then, easing the pressure on stocks.

U.S. benchmark crude oil rose 47 cents at $72.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude advanced 46 cents to $77.61 per barrel.

 

United States News

Associated Press

Florida prepares for next round of rainfall after tropical storms swamped southern part of the state

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Forecasters warned Floridians to prepare for additional flash flooding after a tropical disturbance dumped as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rainfall in the southern parts of the state, with worsening conditions expected Friday. The disorganized storm system was pushing across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico at roughly […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

1 of 2 abducted Louisiana children is found dead in Mississippi after their mother is killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said. A Louisiana resident who had dated the woman was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, in connection with the deaths and […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Ready to renew your US passport? You can now apply online

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s an easier way to renew your passport — online. The State Department has opened a trial run allowing a limited number of people to apply for their updated travel documents with a few clicks. You can’t just start anytime — windows will open at midday Eastern time each day and then […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

You don’t think corn dogs are haute cuisine? These chefs, using alligator sausage, beg to differ.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stefani De Palma, an award-winning chef and head of the a team vying to represent the Americas in a French culinary competition in January, knew she wanted her team’s work to feature flavors of her native California. The challenge at the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition this week in New Orleans was […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Attorney charged in voting machine tampering case announces run for Michigan Supreme Court

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An attorney charged in connection with an effort to illegally access and tamper with voting machines in Michigan after the 2020 election said Thursday that he’s running for the state’s high court. Republican Matthew DePerno, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, made the announcement on the social platform X. “After […]

8 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Collins Comfort Masters

Here's how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Stocks suggest inflation could slow as year comes to a close