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Nvidia Earnings Help Propel Index to Record High

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Key Takeaways

  • The S&P 500 added 2.1% on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, soaring to a record close as Nvidia’s strong results and renewed AI optimism underpinned a tech rally.
  • Shares of Moderna jumped after the biotech firm posted an unanticipated quarterly profit, boosted by a higher share of the COVID vaccine market.
  • Etsy shares slipped as the e-commerce platform forecast a decline in gross merchandise sales this quarter.

Major U.S. equities indexes took off after a strong earnings report from Nvidia (NVDA) helped reignite optimism about a boom in artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

The S&P 500 tore 2.1% higher on Thursday, posting an all-time closing high. Huge gains across the tech sector helped the Nasdaq skyrocket 3.0%, while the Dow was up 1.2%.

Nvidia outperformed lofty expectations when it released its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday afternoon. The chipmaker tripled its overall revenue versus the prior year, while revenue grew five-fold in its data center business which provides cloud and AI services. Nvidia shares surged 16.4% on Thursday, topping the S&P 500. Shares of its competitors also moved higher, with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) stock jumping 10.7%.

Moderna (MRNA) shares shot 13.5% higher after the biotech firm reported an unexpected quarterly profit and a higher-than-expected share of the COVID-19 vaccine market. Revenues declined year over year in the fourth quarter but beat consensus estimates. Moderna anticipates a sales contribution from its experimental RSV vaccine, which it expects to receive approval from U.S. regulators in May.

Quanta Services (PWR), which provides infrastructure solutions and services across multiple industries, exceeded top- and bottom-line estimates for the fourth quarter. Strong demand from the renewable energy sector helped boost sales of Quanta’s engineering and construction services. Shares advanced 10.3%.

Shares of Etsy (ETSY) posted the day’s heaviest losses on the S&P 500, dropping 8.4% after the online crafts marketplace predicted a decline in gross merchandise sales in the first quarter of 2024. Responding to softer demand for handcrafted and home decor items, the company has taken steps to reduce costs, including job cuts at the end of 2023.

Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) shares fell 7.6% after the world’s largest producer of gold announced that it would aim to sell six non-core mines and two additional projects. The divestitures come as Newmont looks to raise $2 billion in cash after closing on last year’s $15 billion acquisition of Newcrest Mining.

Shares of APA Corp. (APA) sank 3.9% after the oil and gas exploration company reported lower-than-expected profits for the fourth quarter. A temporary shutdown at an offshore platform in the North Sea affected the company’s performance.

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