S&P 500 closes at a new all-time high as fresh data drives optimism for rate cutsthedigitalchaps


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  • The S&P 500 notched an all-time record on Friday, closing above its previous high set two years ago.

  • The Dow and Nasdaq also surged as traders took in strong economic data.

  • The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment gauge jumped to its highest since 2021.

Strong economic data fueled the S&P 500 to a record on Friday, with markets getting more optimistic about potential rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

Soon after trading began, the benchmark index was already on pace to clear its all-time closing high of 4,796.56 set two years ago. And by midday, it cleared its intraday record of 4,818.62.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had already topped its prior high last month and set a fresh record on Friday. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite outpaced the other indexes as chipmakers led the tech sector higher, but it remains more than 4% below its highs.

The stock market rally came as the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey showed Americans are feeling better about the economy and see prices cooling.

Inflation expectations for the year ahead fell to 2.9%, the lowest since December 2020, giving the Fed more breathing room to loosen monetary policy this year.

“The powerful surge shows Americans are feeling the effects of lower inflation,” said Robert Frick, an economist with Navy Federal Credit Union. “That’s transmitted directly through prices at the pump, which have been falling since September, and less directly given wage increases have risen above the rate of inflation. The strong jobs market also heavily influences American’s view of the economy in general.”

Here’s where US indexes stood as the market closed at 4:00 p.m. on Friday: 

Here’s what else is going on: 

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

  • Oil prices dropped, with West Texas Intermediate down 0.28% to $73.87 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, moved lower 0.23% to $78.88 a barrel.

  • Gold edged higher 0.46% to $2,031.00 per ounce.

  • The 10-year yield rose 1 basis point to hover at 4.149%.

  • Bitcoin climbed 2.35% to $41,876.

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