Stock market today: Wall Street closes its best week of the year with a quiet finish

Reddit Inc. signage is seen on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor, prior to Reddit IPO, Thursday, March. 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Reddit Inc. signage is seen on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor, prior to Reddit IPO, Thursday, March. 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks closed their best of the year so far with a quiet finish on Friday, remaining near their records.

The S&P 500 slipped 7.35 points, or 0.1%, from its all-time high to close at 5,234.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 305.47, or 0.8%, to 39,475.90, and the Nasdaq composite rose 26.98, or 0.2%, to 16,428.82 to add to its record.

Nike dragged on the market after falling 6.9%. It reported stronger results for the latest quarter than analysts expected, but it’s in the midst of several fundamental changes to inject more newness into its shoes and other products to make them more popular.

Shares of Lululemon Athletica also dropped despite a better-than-expected profit report. The athletic apparel company gave forecasts for revenue and profit over the upcoming fiscal year that fell short of analysts’ expectations, and it sank 15.8%.

Reddit fell 8.8% to give back some of the big gain from its dynamic debut on the U.S. stock market. The eclectic bazaar of online communities offered its stock at an initial price of $34 a share and gained 48.4% in its first day of trading on Thursday.

Helping to support the market was FedEx, which climbed 7.4% after reporting stronger profit than expected despite what it called “a difficult demand environment.”

Some of the market’s wildest action was centered on Digital World Acquisition Corp. The company’s shareholders on Friday approved a merger with the company behind former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social platform. Its stock went from a 12% gain early in the day to a drop of 13.7%

The stock had been on a spectacular run this year as Trump has marched toward the Republican nomination for president. But it began falling shortly after Digital World shareholders approved the merger, which would see Trump Media & Technology Group shares trade under the symbol DJT and replace Digital World’s DWAC.

Critics have said Digital World’s stock is much, much higher than the businesses’ fundamentals suggest, and Truth Social has been losing money.

In the bond market, Treasury yields sank to pull back further for the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 4.20% from 4.27% late Thursday.

Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve indicated that it still may deliver three cuts to interest rates this year, as long as inflation keeps cooling. That calmed worries on Wall Street that several hotter-than-expected inflation reports this year could force it to take rate cuts off the table.

The Federal Reserve’s main interest rate is at its highest level since 2001, and Wall Street is hoping for cuts to begin in June. Such reductions would relieve pressure on the economy and financial system.

Continued expectations for a coming Fed pivot on rates are likely to support stocks, along with surging investment in artificial intelligence and several other drivers for the market, according to David Lefkowitz, head of U.S. equities at UBS Global Wealth Management.

But he sees the S&P 500 ending the year close to where it is now, after it’s already leaped nearly 10% so far in 2024.

In stock markets abroad, indexes tumbled 2.2% in Hong Kong and 0.9% in Shanghai but moved more modestly elsewhere in mixed trading across the rest of Asia and Europe.

AP Business

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