Stocks are flat as the S&P 500 eyes the 5,000 mark
US stocks were little changed on Thursday, pausing after hitting new highs in the previous session, as investors cheered the outlook for chipmaker Arm and looked for new momentum in the latest set of corporate results.
The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was hovering around the flat line, after the benchmark closed just a few points away from hitting 5,000 for the first time ever. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) fell 0.2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 0.3%.
Stocks rose as strong economic data and upbeat earnings lifted morale on Wall Street, helping the S&P 500 near a key psychological level. But some investors wonder whether the gains can be sustained, given the concentrated group of corporate giants driving it.
Arm (ARM) shares rose more than 50% after strong sales expectations, raising hopes that artificial intelligence and technology will continue to support the market. The chipmaker gave a surprisingly bullish outlook based on its expansion into new regions. Disney (DIS) shares also rose more than 11%, as investors welcomed its higher profits and its deals with Taylor Swift and Fortnite maker Epic Games.
Meanwhile, traders trimmed their bets on a rate cut in March thanks to a drumbeat of caution from central bank officials. Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin is scheduled to add his comments on Thursday, while the weekly jobless claims report due later may also move the needle on the policy outlook in light of December’s blockbuster jobs report.
Read more: What the Fed’s interest rate decision means for bank accounts, CDs, loans and credit cards
Elsewhere, concerns about deflation were renewed in China as data showed that consumer prices in the world’s second-largest economy fell by the most since 2009 amid the global financial crisis.
Also on the pessimistic side, a warning by Danish shipping giant Maersk (AMKBY) about a shipping slowdown has investors worried. Its shares fell 15% after the company said it would suspend stock buybacks.
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