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Week in Review: Feb.26.2024 - Mar.1.2024

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March 4, 2024

Market Recap


The S&P 500 index rose to a fresh record close last week as a technology-driven rally helped the market benchmark end February and kick off March on a positive note.

The major index ended Friday's session at 5,137.08, up from the previous Friday's closing level of 5,088.80, which was a record at the time. It reached another closing high on Thursday as the index ended February with a 5.2% gain before moving higher on Friday. The index also set a fresh intraday high on Friday of 5,140.33.

The technology sector led the climb following stronger-than-expected fiscal Q4 results last week from chip maker NVIDIA (NVDA). Strong demand for NVIDIA's generative artificial intelligence (AI) helped boost investors' appetite for many other stocks in the AI realm.

Adding to the AI excitement this week, Dell Technologies (DELL) reported a surprise increase in Q4 earnings as revenue also came in above analysts' expectations and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Clarke said the company saw strong demand continue for its AI-optimized server portfolio.

The technology sector climbed 2.5%, followed by a 2.1% rise in real estate and a 2% increase in consumer discretionary. Other gainers up by at least 1% each included energy, materials and industrials.

Gainers in the tech sector included shares of NetApp (NTAP), which soared 20% on the week as the company reported fiscal Q3 adjusted earnings and revenue above analysts' expectations.

In real estate, shares of American Tower (AMT) rose 6.2% as the company reported Q4 adjusted funds from operations above analysts' expectations while revenue also topped the Street view.

In consumer discretionary, shares of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) jumped 19% as the cruise operator reported stronger-than-expected Q4 revenue amid healthy consumer demand and turned its first full-year profit since 2019.

On the downside, the health care sector fell 1%, followed by a 0.6% drop in utilities and a 0.5% decline in consumer staples. Communication services and financials also edged lower.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group (UNH) shed 7.2% amid a Wall Street Journal report that the health insurance provider is facing an antitrust investigation launched by the US Department of Justice. The investigation is looking into the possible effects of the company's doctor-group acquisitions on rivals and consumers, the report said.

The week, economic reports earlier in the week will include January factory orders and wholesale inventories, but most attention will be on the February employment report due on Friday.

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