US Stock Market Sees Strong Weekly Gain Despite Flat Friday Close

The S&P 500 closed almost unchanged on Friday, but it achieved its largest weekly gain of 2024 thanks to the Federal Reserve’s decision to stick to its plan of three rate cuts by the end of the year.

The Nasdaq and a semiconductor index also ended slightly higher on Friday, with the semiconductor index notably up for the week due to optimism surrounding artificial intelligence. However, the Dow closed lower for the day.

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Consumer discretionary shares, including Nike and Lululemon Athletica, saw declines on Friday. Nike’s stock fell 6.9% after the company predicted a revenue decline in the first half of fiscal 2025. Lululemon Athletica’s shares dropped 15.8% as the company forecasted annual revenue and profit below expectations.

Earlier in the week, the Federal Reserve decided to keep rates unchanged but signaled its intention for three rate cuts this year. This news was well-received by the market, with traders now expecting a 71% chance of the first rate cut happening in June, up from 56% earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 305.47 points on Friday, the S&P 500 lost 7.35 points, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 26.98 points. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 2.3%, the Dow climbed 2%, and the Nasdaq rose 2.9%.

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Looking ahead, some analysts anticipate a pullback or sideways trading period given the market’s gains since October. However, certain stocks like FedEx saw gains on Friday, jumping 7.4% after beating Wall Street’s profit expectations. Conversely, Digital World Acquisition fell 13.7% after shareholders approved its merger with former U.S. President Donald Trump’s media and technology company.

Overall, U.S. exchanges saw lower-than-average volume on Friday.

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