Wall Street’s record-breaking rally keeps rolling as S&P 500 hits new high

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Wall Street’s blistering rally stretched into a seventh day Wednesday and vaulted the U.S. stock market to more all-time highs.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 1% and topped the 5,600 level for the first time. The Nasdaq composite also rallied to a seventh straight gain and added 1.2% to its all-time high set a day before. The Dow Jones industrial average, meanwhile, swung highe by 1.1%.

Big technology companies led the way, as has become the norm on Wall Street, and Taiwan Semiconductor’s U.S.-listed shares rose 3.5% after it said its revenue climbed nearly 33% in June from a year earlier.


Taiwan Semiconductor makes the chips for Nvidia and others that have been driving the business world’s rush into artificial intelligence technology. The promise of big profits in the future from AI has sent Nvidia in particular to breathtaking heights over the last year, and Nvidia rose an additional 2.7% on Wednesday to bring its gain for the year to 172.5%. It was again the strongest single force pushing the S&P 500 upward.

Advanced Micro Devices was another major force behind the stock market’s leap; it jumped 3.9% after announcing a $665-million deal to buy Silo AI, a European AI lab.

The frenzy around AI has been a major reason the U.S. stock market has climbed to records despite a slowdown in the economy’s growth and a tightening squeeze on lower-income households. So have hopes that inflation is slowing enough for the Federal Reserve to deliver much-sought cuts to interest rates later this year.

Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell returned to Capitol Hill to give testimony about interest rates, where he echoed many of his comments from a day before. He said he was “not sending any signals” about when cuts to rates could arrive, but he pointed out the downsides of being too late on them.

“We’re looking at both sides” of the risks involved in moving its main interest rate, which has been sitting at its highest level in more than two decades, Powell said. Cutting rates too early could allow inflation to pick up, while waiting too long could allow the economy’s slowdown to turn into a recession.

Much of Wall Street is expecting the Fed to begin cutting its main interest rate in September, but traders have a long history of being premature in their calls. Powell gave a nod to recent reports that have shown improvement in inflation after a discouraging start of the year, but he said again that the Fed doesn’t have enough confidence that inflation is sustainably heading toward its goal of 2%.


“More good data would strengthen our confidence” and clear the way for a cut, Powell said.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged down to 4.28% from 4.30% late Tuesday and from 4.70% since April. The move since the spring is a significant one for the bond market and offers support for stock prices.

The two-year Treasury yield, which moves more on expectations for Fed action, held steady at 4.62%, where it was late Tuesday.

A report coming Thursday could cause sharper swings in the bond and stock markets. That’s when the U.S. government will release the latest monthly update on inflation. Economists expect it to show U.S. consumers paid prices for food, airline tickets and everything else that were 3.1% higher in June than a year earlier. That would be a touch slower than May’s 3.3% inflation rate.

Later this week will also bring the unofficial start to the latest earnings reporting season. Delta Air Lines, JPMorgan Chase and others will report how much profit they made during the spring from April through June, and the hope on Wall Street is for S&P 500 companies to deliver the strongest growth in more than two years.

Smart Global Holdings, a technology company with computing, memory and LED businesses, rose 26.3% after it reported stronger profit and revenue for the latest quarter than analysts expected.

On the losing end of Wall Street was LegalZoom, which fell 25.4%. It said its chief executive, Dan Wernikoff, is leaving the company and resigning from its board. The company also cut its revenue forecast for the full year.


All told, the S&P 500 rose 56.93 points to 5,663.91. The Nasdaq composite rallied 218.16 points to 18,647.45, and the Dow gained 429.39 points to 39,721.36.

In stock markets abroad, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.6% to close at its own record. It’s jumped 25% so far this year, even more than the U.S. stock market, as AI enthusiasm has pushed up its technology stocks. Its exporters are also benefiting from the yen’s falling value against the dollar, which can boost their profits.

Other markets in Asia were mixed, while European indexes climbed.

Choe writes for the Associated Press.

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