Wall Street Indexes End Sharply Higher on Debt Ceiling Optimism

Wall Street ended higher on Friday as talks to raise the US debt ceiling made progress.

Wall Street ended sharply higher on Friday as talks to raise the US debt ceiling made progress, while chip stocks rose for a second day on optimism about artificial intelligence.

After several rounds of talks, US President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy appear close to an agreement to extend the government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling for two years while capping spending on most items, a US official told Reuters.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a five-day losing streak, while the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 closed at their highest levels since August 2022, with the S&P 500 topping 4,200.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor index rose 6.3%, having risen more than 13% over the past two sessions. Shares of chipmaker Marvell Technology Inc rose 32% on recent optimism related to artificial intelligence after the chipmaker said it would double its annual revenue related to artificial intelligence.

With US markets closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday and Biden and McCarthy still appearing to disagree on several issues heading into the long weekend, investors are keeping a close eye on the debt-ceiling talks.

Shares of Nvidia Corp rose 2.5%, adding 24% to Thursday’s gains after its blowout forecast lifted its stock market value to around $960 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

The S&P 500 gained 1.3% to end at 4,205.45. The Nasdaq rose 2.19% to 12,975.69, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1% to 33,093.34.

Eight of the 11 S&P 500 sectors were higher, with information technology leading the gains, up 2.68%, followed by consumer discretionary, up 2.38%.

Volume on US exchanges was relatively light, with 9.8 billion shares changing hands compared with the 10.5 billion average for the previous 20 sessions.

For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.3%, the Dow lost 1% and the Nasdaq gained 2.5%.

Data showed US consumer spending rose more than expected in April and inflation picked up, which could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again next month.

Traders now see a 60% chance of a quarter-point rate hike at the Fed’s June policy meeting, up from about 40% before the data, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

Shares of Ford Motor Co rose 6.2% after the automaker signed a deal to allow customers to use more than 12,000 Tesla Inc Superchargers in North America in early 2024. Tesla shares rose 4.7%.

Shares of cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty Inc slumped 13.4% after it cut its annual operating profit forecast.

Shares of Paramount Universal rose 5.9% after the media conglomerate’s controlling shareholder, National Amusements, secured a $125 million investment.

Advancers outnumbered decliners in the S&P 500 by a 2.2-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 recorded 17 new highs and 15 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 77 new highs and 115 new lows.

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