Wall Street hit a record high last night amid an artificial intelligence-inspired tech boom.
On a bumper day for investors, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 38,000 points for first time while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq extended recent gains.
It came as a strong run among tech giants such as Apple, Google owner Alphabet and Facebook parent Meta pushed the indexes to set records.
On Friday the S&P 500 – home to America’s top companies – hit an all-time high for the first time in two years driven by growing hopes that AI demand will reap big profits for tech firms.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged yesterday to 38,061.65 before closing at 38,001.81. The Nasdaq rose another 0.4 per cent.
Record high: On a bumper day for investors, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 38,000 points for first time while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq extended recent gains
John Higgins, chief markets economist at research business Capital Economics, said the index can go even higher.
‘We think the hype will continue to build, and forecast that the S&P 500 will end 2024 at 5,500,’ he said.
Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at financial data group CFRA Research in New York, said: ‘AI will always be in the background, but as we approach the next Fed meeting, a lot of the conversation will surround the US central bank and pretty much confirm that they will wait until May before cutting interest rates.’
London’s main markets also bounced following their worst week since October as hopes faded over early interest rate cuts.
The FTSE 100 gained 0.4 per cent, or 25.78 points, to 7487.71 and the FTSE 250 added 1.1 per cent, or 204.23 points, to 19075.64
Shares in Trifast, which makes screws, nuts and bolts, plunged after it issued a profit warning and revealed plans to cut jobs.
The company said results for the 12 months to the end of March are likely to be ‘significantly below previous expectations’ with revenues of around £230million.
That would be lower than the £244million of sales it made the year before. Shares tumbled 21.5p per cent, or 20p, to 73p.
Trifast’s bleak outlook came after a difficult third quarter, with trading in December subdued. It expects such challenges to remain throughout the rest of the financial year.
In a further blow, Trifast said a slowdown in customer demand and sales will see the group axe 10 per cent of its non-operational staff around the world in a move that could save £3million.
Real estate investment trust Segro made gains after analysts at Citi encouraged its clients to take a punt on the property sector.
The investment bank, having previously forecast sharp rent declines, expects growth as interest rates fall. Shares added 2.5 per cent, or 20.6p, to 849.2p.
Heading in the other direction was the mining giant Rio Tinto following a downgrade from analysts at Morgan Stanley. Shares dropped 1.7 per cent, or 91p, to 5288p.
Bodycote rose after the heat treatment firm said it is gearing up to launch a £60million share buyback programme in March. Shares gained 6.7 per cent, or 40p, to 636p.
A Peel Hunt upgrade boosted defence group Babcock. Shares rose 3.2 per cent, or 13.6p, to 443.6p.
It was a good day for Brickability after its latest acquisition took the number of business bought since it floated in 2019 to 14.
The brick supplier acquired TSL Assets, which has worked on projects such as roof upgrades for Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium, Twickenham Stadium and a cafe at the Royal Botanical Gardens, in a deal worth up to £48million. Brickability shares surged 8.9 per cent, or 5p, to 61p.
Eden Research, the biopesticide producer, expects its revenues to have increased by nearly three-quarters to £3.1million in 2023.
And it is likely to have racked up an annual loss of £1.2million, lower than the £1.9million pencilled in by analysts. Shares added 4.9 per cent, or 0.28p, to 5.9p.
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