Wall Street edges higher as investors assess economic data; CSCO, BJ rise

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Wall Street edges higher as investors assess economic data; CSCO, BJ rise

 Wall Street edges higher as investors assess economic data; CSCO, BJ rise
Image source: © Komkrittor | Megapixl.com

Benchmark US indices closed the session higher on Thursday, August 18, as investors appear to have shrugged off concerns over interest rate hikes.

Minutes from Fed's July meeting signaled on Wednesday that the Federal Reserve may continue with their rate-hike plan, although they would look on the pace acknowledging the risk of economic slowdown.

The S&P 500 rose 0.23 per cent to 4,283.74. The Dow Jones was up 0.06 per cent to 33,999.04. The NASDAQ Composite added 0.21 per cent to 12,965.34, and the small-cap Russell 2000 rose 0.67 per cent to 2,000.73.

However, some investors are still moving on a cautious note given the rate hike fear at Fed's upcoming meeting in September. The Fed had raised the interest rates so far by 2.25 percentage through July to bring down the inflation.

The market participants are now eagerly waiting for Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole symposium, which is expected to happen in next week.

In economic news, the number of Americans filing for new claims of unemployment benefits declined in the prior week, indicating that the labor market is holding up despite a slowdown in the overall economy.

The initial claims decreased by 2,000 to 250,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The energy and information technology sectors led gains in the S&P 500 index on August 18. Seven of the 11 segments of the index stayed in the positive territory. The healthcare and real estate sectors were the bottom movers.

Shares of Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) gained 5.93 per cent in intraday trading, a day after the company posted its quarterly earnings results while providing upbeat sales guidance for its first-quarter fiscal 2023.

BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. (BJ) added 7.25 per cent in the intraday session after the variety shop chain operator posted strong quarterly earnings results on Thursday.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) lost over 20 per cent on Thursday after investor Ryan Cohen said he would sell his stake in the retail firm.

In the energy sector, Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) increased by 2.36 per cent, Chevron Corporation (CVX) gained 1.75 per cent, and Shell plc (SHEL) added 1.47 per cent. TotalEnergies SE (TTE) and ConocoPhillips (COP) advanced 1.96 per cent and 3.47 per cent, respectively.

In technology stocks, Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) soared 2.39 per cent, Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) jumped 3.69 per cent, and Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM) surged 1.92 per cent. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) and Intel Corporation (INTC) ticked up 2.21 per cent and 1.17 per cent, respectively.

In the healthcare sector, Pfizer Inc. (PFE) decreased by 1.40 per cent, Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) fell 1.96 per cent, and Danaher Corporation (DHR) plummeted by 1.01 per cent. CVS Health Corporation (CVS) and Sanofi (SNY) dropped by 1.22 per cent and 2.35 per cent, respectively.

Top movers & losers in the US stock market on August 18

Futures & Commodities

Gold futures were down 0.22 per cent to US$1,772.85 per ounce. Silver decreased by 1.36 per cent to US$19.462 per ounce, while copper ticked up 1.76 per cent to US$3.6465.

Brent oil futures increased by 3.14 per cent to US$96.59 per barrel and WTI crude was up 2.74 per cent to US$90.52.

Top volume movers in the US stock market on August 18

Bond Market

The 30-year Treasury bond yields were down 0.09 per cent to 3.143, while the 10-year bond yields fell 0.31 per cent to 2.886.

US Dollar Futures Index increased by 0.88 per cent to US$107.420.

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