US stocks extend rally, lifting Dow to fresh record

NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks rose again on Dec 27, lifting the Dow to a fresh record, following a quiet session as markets remained broadly optimistic looking ahead to 2024.

Major indices have notched significant increases in 2023, propelled by a late-year rally as a moderation in inflation prompts expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate cuts in 2024.

But a note from CFRA Research’s Sam Stovall pointed to the lofty valuation of many stocks as evidence of an “overbought” market, while signaling that stocks could still rise further.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.3 per cent to 37,656.52, topping a record set last week.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.1 per cent to 4,781.58, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.2 per cent at 15,099.18.

Looking ahead to 2024, some commentators have expressed concern that the labor market could slow, perhaps dragging the economy into a recession. But others have stayed bullish.

A note from Goldman Sachs on Dec 26 predicted the US labour market would “remain strong” and that the Fed would cut interest rates “early and fast.”

Among individual companies, Microsoft dipped 0.2 per cent after the New York Times Company sued the tech giant along with Open AI, alleging that the companies’ powerful artificial intelligence models used millions of articles for training without permission.

Shares of the New York Times Company jumped 2.9 per cent.

Amazon slipped 0.1 per cent after announcing plans to add “limited advertisements” to broadcasts on its Prime Video service. The company is offering an add-free option for US$2.99 a month, Amazon said in an email to subscribers. AFP

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