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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

S&P 500 rises as defensive stocks shine ahead of big tech earnings

S&P 500 rises as defensive stocks shine ahead of big tech earnings
© Reuters.

 

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Investing.com — The S&P 500 climbed Friday led by a climb in defensive corners of the market including utilities as investors opted for caution ahead of quarterly results from big tech next week.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, or 83 points, and Nasdaq was up 0.2%.

Chip stocks climb but big tech mostly lower ahead earnings

Chip stocks were pushed higher by a rally in Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) that helped improve sentiment on chips, a day after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s (NYSE:TSM) outlook spooked chip investors.

The chipmaker warned of a 10% drop in sales on Thursday as a weaker global economy is expected to weigh on chip demand.

Big tech, traded flat to lower intraday, as investors looked ahead to quarterly results from Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) due Tuesday after the market closes.

Both tech behemoths are up sharply year-to-date, driven by optimism that demand for artificial intelligence will bolster future growth.

Amex, AutoNation fail to impress on earnings stage

American Express (NYSE:AXP) reported mixed second-quarter results as earnings beat, but revenue missed as customers reined in spending on the firm’s credit cards. Its shares fell more than 3%.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) slumped 11% as fears that easing car prices could hurt margins offset the automotive retailer’s second-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

“Margin compression will continue, but won’t reach the levels — certainly this year, in my opinion — that we saw pre-pandemic,” Mike Manley, AutoNation’s chief executive officer, said on an earnings call that followed the results.

Defensive stocks lead gains

In a sign of caution ahead of the big tech earnings and the Federal Reserve decision due next week, defensive corners of the market including utilities and health care were in the ascendency.

Southern Company (NYSE:SO), The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES), and Nextera Energy Inc (NYSE:NEE) led the move higher in utilities.

Bets on a Fed rate hike next week are all but priced in, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. This puts the focus on Chair Powell’s testimony for any guidance on upcoming policy decisions, Nomura said in a note, adding that it expects July will be the last hike of the current tightening cycle.

Source: Investing.com

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