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Week in Review: Feb.19.2024 - Feb.23.2024

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February 26, 2024

Market Recap


The S&P 500 index rose 1.7% last week to a new record close as stronger-than-expected quarterly results from retailer Walmart (WMT) and chipmaker NVIDIA (NVDA) boosted investor sentiment. The market benchmark ended Friday's session at 5,088.80, its highest closing level on record. The S&P 500 also reached a fresh intraday high on Friday at 5,111.06. The index is now up 5% for the month and up 6.7% for the year to date.

The weekly advance was led by the consumer staples and technology sectors amid excitement over the quarterly results from Walmart and NVIDIA. For its fiscal Q4 ended Jan. 31, Walmart reported adjusted earnings and revenue above analysts' expectations. The company also boosted its dividend and unveiled an agreement to acquire entertainment technology company Vizio Holding (VZIO) for $2.3 billion in cash.

NVIDIA's shares, meanwhile, rallied on better-than-expected results for the company's fiscal Q4 ended Jan. 28. Sales more than tripled from the year-earlier quarter amid strong demand for generative artificial intelligence, and the company issued upbeat guidance for its fiscal Q1 revenue. NVIDIA's report sent the chipmaker's stock to a $2 trillion market capitalization for the first time ever and sparked a rally across technology stocks and others touched by artificial intelligence.

Every sector of the S&P 500 rose on a weekly basis, led by a 2.1% gain in consumer staples and a 2.0% rise in technology. Other strong gainers included materials, industrials and financials. The smallest increase was posted by energy, which edged up 0.4%.

In consumer staples, Walmart's shares rose 3.1% on the week amid its better-than-expected earnings report, dividend boost and Vizio deal. Among other gainers in the sector, shares of Kraft Heinz (KHC) rose 3.6% as the food, beverage and snacks company reiterated its 2024 financial outlook at a conference.

The technology sector's advance was led by an 8.5% climb in NVIDIA's shares on the week, followed by an 8.2% increase in the shares of fellow chipmaker Micron Technology (MU).

The energy sector's small gain came as crude oil futures declined. Shares of APA Corp. (APA) shed 4.9% as the company reported Q4 adjusted earnings per share below analysts' mean estimate despite higher-than-expected revenue.

With Q4 earnings for the most part completed, this week attention will turn to the Canadian banks as they are set to report this week.

Economic data scheduled for next week include January new home sales on Monday, the first revision to Q4 gross domestic product on Wednesday and the January personal consumption expenditures index on Thursday.

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