February 22, 2024

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S&P, Nasdaq hit records as tech leads rally

2 min read

U.S. equity markets ended mixed on Thursday after President Biden signed a series of executive orders in the first hours of his presidency.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 12 points, or 0.04% while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 0.03% and 0.55%, respectively. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finished in record territory.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DHI n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
SP500 S&P 500 3853.07 +1.22 +0.03%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13530.914939 +73.67 +0.55%

Biden signed 10 executive orders on Thursday to help slow the spread of COVID-19. That followed a flurry of demands issued on Wednesday which included extending a freeze on student loan payments and the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums for those impacted by COVID-19. Other measures including canceling the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, re-entering the Paris climate agreement and stopping construction of the southern border wall, among other things.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HLDG. 42.59 -2.59 -5.73%

Looking at stocks, United Airlines Holdings reported a fourth straight quarterly loss in the three months through December as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to snarl demand for air travel. The Chicago-based airline lost $7.1 billion in 2020 but said that while the next few quarters will be difficult, it foresees a return of travel and cost-cutting resulting in its 2019 profit margins being exceeded by 2023.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BKS n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Baker Hughes Co. missed on revenue but beat on earnings and said it expects the energy market to bottom by the middle of this year.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 136.87 +4.84 +3.67%

Elsewhere, the price target on Apple Inc. shares was raised to $152 from $144 at Morgan Stanley, which is anticipating record quarterly earnings and revenue from its upcoming report.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA INC. 844.99 -5.46 -0.64%

Tesla Inc. vehicle registrations in the state of California spiked 63% year over year in the fourth quarter, according to data from the research firm Cross-Sell. The increase in registrations was bolstered by demand for the Model Y crossover vehicle.

GM GETS ITS GROOVE BACK, DIVIDEND COULD RETURN SOON

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GM GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY 55.08 -0.78 -1.40%

In other auto news, General Motors missed its sixth record-high close this month. Optimism has been building around the company following a flurry of strategic moves.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude fell 18 cents to $53.13 per barrel and gold slid 60 cents to $1,865.30 an ounce.

European markets were lower after the European Central Bank kept policy on hold with France’s CAC 40 falling 0.67% and Germany’s DAX 30 losing 0.11%. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.37%.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.12% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.82% and China’s Shanghai index gained 1.07%.

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