Financial Markets 06/21 16:06

Financial Markets                      06/21 16:06

   

   NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks coasted to the close of their latest winning 
week on Friday, as Nvidia 's stock continued to cool from its startling, 
supernova run.

   The S&P 500 slipped 0.2%, but it remained close to its all-time high set on 
Tuesday and capped its eighth winning week in the last nine. The Dow Jones 
Industrial Average edged up by 15 points, or less than 0.1%, while the Nasdaq 
composite dropped 0.2%.

   Nvidia again dragged on the market after falling 3.2%. The company's stock 
has soared more than 1,000% since October 2022 on frenzied demand for its 
chips, which are powering much of the world's move into artificial-intelligence 
technology, and it briefly supplanted Microsoft this week as the most valuable 
company on Wall Street.

   But nothing goes up forever, and Nvidia's drops the last two days sent its 
stock to its first losing week in the last nine.

   Much of the rest of Wall Street was relatively quiet, outside a few outliers.

   Sarepta Therapeutics jumped 30.1% after U.S. regulators approved the use of 
its medicine for children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who are at least 4.

   Gun maker Smith & Wesson Brands tumbled 12.9% despite reporting stronger 
profit for the latest quarter than analysts expected. The summer is 
traditionally a slower season for firearms, according to CEO Mark Smith.

   Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group rallied back from an early loss and 
rose 3.4% to trim its loss for the week to 25.3%. The company behind Donald 
Trump's Truth Social platform had seen its stock nearly halve since the 
conviction of the former president in late May on charges in a scheme to 
illegally influence the 2016 election through a hush money payment to a porn 
actor who said the two had sex.

   All told, the S&P 500 dipped 8.55 points to 5,464.62. The Dow Jones 
Industrial Average rose 15.57 to 39,150.33, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 
32.23 to 17,689.36.

   In the bond market, U.S. Treasury yields initially fell after a report 
suggested business activity among countries that use the euro currency is 
weaker than economists expected. Concerns are already high for the continent 
ahead of a French election that could further rattle financial markets.

   The weak business-activity report dragged down yields in Europe, which at 
first pressured Treasury yields. But U.S. yields recovered much of those losses 
after another report said later in the morning that U.S. business activity may 
be stronger than thought.

   Overall output growth hit a 26-month high, according to S&P Global's 
preliminary reading of activity among U.S. manufacturing and services 
businesses. Perhaps more importantly for Wall Street, that strength may be 
happening without a concurrent rise in pressure on inflation.

   "Historical comparisons indicate that the latest decline brings the survey's 
price gauge into line with the Fed's 2% inflation target," according to Chris 
Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

   The Federal Reserve is in a precarious spot, where it's trying to slow the 
economy through high interest rates by just enough to get high inflation back 
down to 2%. The trick is that it wants to cut interest rates at the exact right 
time. If it waits too long, the economy's slowdown could careen into a 
recession. If it's too early, inflation could reaccelerate.

   Hope still reigns among traders that the Fed can pull it off, and many are 
forecasting at least two cuts to interest rates later this year, according to 
data from CME Group. Of course, their predictions have regularly proven to be 
overly optimistic through history.

   Fed officials themselves have penciled in one or two cuts in 2024 to their 
main interest rate, which has been sitting at its highest level in more than 
two decades. The economy is still growing, though it has slowed recently under 
the weight of high rates. Housing and manufacturing have been hurt in 
particular, while lower-income households are struggling to keep up with 
still-rising prices.

   The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged down to 4.25% from 4.26% late 
Thursday. The yield on the two-year Treasury, which more closely tracks 
expectations for Fed action, dipped to 4.73% from 4.74%.

   In stock markets abroad, European stocks fell after the weak continental 
economic reports, and many Asian indexes were also lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng 
dropped 1.7%, and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.8%.

   ___

   AP Business Writers Yuri Kageyama and Alex Veiga contributed.

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