S&P 500 closes near 5,000, notches record high as strong earnings continue: Live updates

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The S&P 500 rose Wednesday and edged closer to the 5,000 level{

Stocks finish higher as S&P 500 closes in on 5,000

Stocks finished higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 adding 0.82% to finish at 4,995.06.

The Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.95% to settle at 15,756.64, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 156 points, or 0.4%, to close at 38,677.36 and an all-time high.

— Samantha Subin

The broad-based index, which first breached the 4,000 level in April 2021, added 0.82% to finish at 4,995.06. At session highs, the S&P hit 4,999.89.

The Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.95% to settle at 15,756.64, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 156 points, or 0.4%, to close at 38,677.36 and an all-time high.

"It's earnings driven, but it's bleeding over into other companies that may not have announced," said Kim Forrest, Bokeh Capital's chief investment officer, of Wednesday's moves. "They're getting swept on the coattails. Some of what we're experiencing this year is people don't want to be left behind like they were last year."

Stocks rallied as investors weighed a fresh batch of strong corporate profits and major technology behemoths continued their march higher. Nvidia and Microsoft climbed about 2% to trade at fresh highs, while Meta Platforms surged 3.3%. Alphabet and Amazon rose about 1% each.

Enphase Energy popped about 17% after the solar company said its inventory glut may be nearing a bottom, boosting other solar stocks in sympathy. Ford gained 6% after beating Wall Street's fourth-quarter estimates and issuing higher-than-expected guidance, while Chipotle Mexican Grill climbed 7% on strong earnings and traffic.

A better-than-expected earnings season, coupled with upbeat guidance, has been a source of strength for the market in recent weeks, illustrating that consumer spending is healthy and that the economy remains resilient in the face of high interest rates.

"The good news has come in, and the U.S. economy is continuing to show incredible robustness," said Nancy Curtin, chief investment officer at AlTi Tiedemann Global. "At the same time, we still see signs of disinflation" and "sticky growth," which is a "positive backdrop for the Fed at some point to cut interest rates this year."

The advance comes despite a recent retreat in 2024 rate expectations following cautious commentary from the central bank. Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled last week that investors will have to wait longer than previously thought for a pivot, while Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said Wednesday that he anticipates only two to three rate cuts this year.

Wednesday's price action may be a sign that investors are "growing more comfortable" with this notion of later-than-expected rate cuts, said Chris Hussey, managing director at Goldman Sachs, in a note to clients.

In other news, New York Community Bancorp shares finished up 6.7% following another volatile session after Moody's downgraded its credit rating to junk. Shares have fallen about 31% in February alone after the bank posted a surprise fourth-quarter loss and slashed its dividend amid rising commercial real estate losses.

Walt Disney, PayPal and Arm Holdings are scheduled to report quarterly results after the market closes.

Stocks finish higher as S&P 500 closes in on 5,000

Stocks finished higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 adding 0.82% to finish at 4,995.06.

The Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.95% to settle at 15,756.64, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 156 points, or 0.4%, to close at 38,677.36 and an all-time high.

— Samantha Subin

Nvidia shares top $700 for the first time

Nvidia shares topped $700 for the first time during Wednesday intraday trading, with the chipmaker continuing its extraordinary ascent this year even amid concerns the stock is now overpriced.

The stock is now up by more than 40% in 2024. It was higher by 2.8% on Wednesday.

— Sarah Min, Nick Wells

Oil rises as Netanyahu vows to press on with war

Oil prices rose Wednesday as Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to press on with the war in Gaza, diminishing hopes for a ceasefire agreement.

The West Texas Intermediate contract for March added 55 cents, or 0.75%, to settle at $73.86 a barrel Wednesday, while the Brent contract for April gained 62 cents, or 0.79%, to settle at $79.21 a barrel.

Netanyahu on Wednesday rejected a proposal made by Hamas for a permanent ceasefire, vowing to fight on in Gaza until "absolute victory."

Oil prices also found support from forecasts that U.S. production will grow more slowly this year than expected. On balance, domestic oil output is expected to grow by 170,000 barrels per day this year, down significantly from the Energy Department's previous forecast of 290,000 bpd.

— Spencer Kimball

Berkshire Hathaway shares top $600,00 for the first time

Berkshire Hathaway class A shares climbed about 1% Wednesday to hit an intraday high of $600,531, the first time the conglomerate's stock crossed the $600,000 threshold.

Warren Buffet's conglomerate has gained more than 10% this year, outperforming the S&P 500's 4.7% return. The company is set to report fourth quarter earnings later this month.

— Yun Li

Information technology, consumer discretionary stocks lead S&P 500 higher

Information technology stocks outperformed on Wednesday, boosting their respective S&P 500 sectors 1.3%.

Enphase Energy was the biggest gainer in the information technology sector, skyrocketing 18% as management indicated signs of an inventory bottom. Palo Alto Networks jumped 6%, while CDW Corp, First Solar and Cadence Design Systems rose more than 3% each.

Popular technology giants also rallied, with Advanced Micro Devices, Microsoft and Nvidia adding about 2% each. Within consumer discretionary Chipotle Mexican Grill climbed more than 8%, while Ford Motor edged up 5%.

Communication services stocks also gained, boosting the sector 0.8%. Meta Platforms was the biggest gainer, rising about 3%. Netflix added about 1%.

— Samantha Subin

Snap heads for third worst day ever

A post-earnings sell-off in Snap put the stock on track for its third worst session in its history.

Shares of the social media stock dove more than 35% during Wednesday's session. If that holds through close, it would mark the third biggest loss ever in a day and worst session since 2022.

Wednesday's tumble comes a day after the company missed expectations for quarterly revenue and provided light guidance. Snap said it was facing headwinds tied to conflict in the Middle East.

— Alex Harring

Stocks moving in midday trading

Here are some of the names making the biggest moves during midday trading:

  • Roblox — Shares popped 10% after the video game company reported a loss of 52 cents per share, less than the 55-cent per share loss expected from analysts polled by LSEG. Revenue, or bookings, also beat expectations.
  • Amgen — Shares tumbled fell about 5% following a downgrade by Leerink Partners to market perform from outperform. The firm cited uncertainty around Amgen's obesity drug becoming a "viable contender" in the weight-loss space.
  • XPO — The shipping stock soared 19% after XPO reported adjusted earnings per share came in at 77 cents, topping the consensus estimate of 62 cents, according to FactSet. Revenue also beat the consensus estimate.

To see more stocks making midday moves, read the full story here.

— Michelle Fox

Fed officials advocate moving slow on cutting rates

Wednesday was a big day for Federal Reserve speakers, virtually all of whom said they aren't ready to start cutting interest rates yet and will move slowly once they are. Some highlights:

  • Governor Adriana Kugler said inflation is showing solid signs of slowing down, but she is not ready yet to start lowering interest rates.
  • Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari also expressed caution about cutting rates too quickly, telling CNBC he only expects two or three reductions this year.
  • "I will need to see more evidence before considering adjusting the policy stance," Boston President Susan Collins said, adding that the path ahead could be "bumpy."
  • Commenting on the economy, Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said, "That drumbeat you hear is the soft landing." However, he also added that he favors "being patient" on rates.

—Jeff Cox

Economy stuck in a 'late-cycle purgatory,' says Wolfe Research

Wolfe Research says its Business Cycle Index, which measures excess in the economy, is indicating a "late-cycle purgatory."

"It is nearly impossible for this index to come back down to early cycle over the next year without a downturn," chief economist Stephanie Roth wrote in a Wednesday note.

Historically, the financial sector, manufacturing and energy sectors tend to outperform in late-stage business cycles, according to Roth. Meanwhile, defensive sectors tend to underperform late-cycle, Roth said.

The economist noted that tech was not included in the analysis of historical cycles.

— Hakyung Kim

Real estate sector lags as S&P 500 rises

Energy stocks declined on Wednesday, pressuring the S&P 500 sector about 0.1%.

Schlumberger NV, and Halliburton slipped 1% each. Exxon Mobil, EQT Corporation and Pioneer Natural Resources also moved lower.

As of midday trading, energy was the only sector in the broad-based index trading in the red.

— Samantha Subin

Morgan Stanley increases Nvidia price target ahead of earnings announcement

The near-term growth story for Nvidia remains promising amid ongoing demand for artificial intelligence processors, according to Morgan Stanley. 

The investment bank hiked its price target and reiterated an overweight rating ahead of the chipmaker's quarterly earnings release set for Feb. 21.

The chipmaker has surged 211% in the last 12 months, including a 39% rally in the first six weeks of 2024. As Nvidia continues to climb, some investors have questioned whether earnings will expand enough to justify the rally.

CNBC Pro can find more details on the price target hike here.

— Hakyung Kim

Traders may be overestimating risks tied to mega-cap outperformance, BMO's Belski says

Investors may be too worried about how the market will perform when mega-cap stocks start pulling back, according to Brian Belski, BMO Capital Markets chief investment strategist.

Belski said concern around how the market will move if large-cap outperformers begin correcting has been a popular topic as the Magnificent 7 has driven equities higher. But he noted that historical data gives reason for optimism and shows a drawdown is even considered normal.

Specifically, he said that the S&P 500 almost always sees a technical correction during of second year of a bull market. That means a drop among these names doesn't negate the broader run, he added.

Belski also pointed to data showing the market has historically been resilient when rallying mega-caps start losing steam.

"We believe investors may be overestimating the 'risks' involved since our work shows that the stock market has held up just fine in prior periods when the outperformance of mega-cap stocks started to wane," he told clients.

— Alex Harring

Market is on the 'cusp of a pick-up in volatility,' says Wolfe Research's Ginsberg

Beware of some seasonal tailwinds that suggest the market may be on the "cusp of a pick-up in volatility," according to Wolfe Research's Rob Ginsberg.

Despite relative stability in the CBOE volatility index over the past few weeks, the managing director said in a Tuesday note that the indicator tends to "come alive in Mid-February into late March."

"Now, we never want to put too much weight on seasonal patterns, but this does line up quite nicely with a handful of the divergences that we've flagged over the past week or so," he wrote.

He added that "divergences are horrible timing tools, but as they continue to build, and with seasonal tailwinds for volatility just around the corner, if the bears are going to have the moment to shine, this might be it."

— Samantha Subin

Regional bank stocks fall as New York Community Bancorp troubles continue

A slew of regional bank stocks fell on Wednesday as New York Community Bancorp continued its freefall and shed nearly 9%.

The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF slumped 2.2%, led to the downside by an 8% slump in Valley National Bancorp. Western Alliance lost 3%, while Citizens Financial, Truist Financial and M&T Bank declined more than 2% each.

— Samantha Subin

Stocks open higher, S&P 500 nears 5,000 level

Stocks opened higher on Wednesday. The S&P 500 added 0.45%, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 120 points, or 0.3%.

— Samantha Subin

Enphase shares soar after earnings, carrying solar sector higher

Enphase shares were up more than 16% in premarket trading after the company's CEO forecast that the solar market could hit a bottom in the first quarter this year and then start to recover.

Enphase reported quarterly profits Tuesday that largely met Wall Street's expectations, with earnings per share coming in at 54 cents vs. 55 cents expected. The solar company's gross margins also improved quarter over quarter and year over year.

Enphase was slammed in 2023 as high interest rates depressed demand and left the company with too much inventory on hand. CEO Badri Kothandaraman told analysts during the company's earnings call that the market could bottom in the first three months of this year.

Enphase manufactures inverters that convert solar energy into electricity that is compatible with the grid.

"Europe is already showing early signs of recovery and we expect the non-California states to bounce back quickly," Kothandaraman said. "We see that the demand is going to eventually bounce back up in California as well."

The CEO's comments and the company's earnings are carrying the solar sector higher this morning with competitor SolarEdge's shares up nearly 13% as well. The Invesco Solar ETF rose about 5%.

— Spencer Kimball

See the stocks making the biggest moves before the bell

These are some of the stocks making notable moves in premarket trading:

  • Snap — The social media company tumbled 31%, the morning day posting worse-than-expected revenue and offering a soft outlook.
  • Yum Brands — Shares slipped 1.8% after the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut parent reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that missed expectations.
  • CVS — The stock added less than 1% after CVS exceeded Wall Street expectations for its fourth quarter, citing strength in its health services business. But the company cut its full-year outlook, noting higher medical costs.

See the full list here.

— Alex Harring

Roblox pops 12% on strong earnings, guidance

Roblox shares rallied 12% before the bell after the video game developer topped Wall Street's estimates and issued strong full-year guidance.

The company reported a loss of 52 cents per share on $1.13 billion in bookings. That represented its highest quarterly bookings figure ever and topped the 55-cent loss per share and $1.08 billion in bookings expected by analysts polled by LSEG. Bookings is used as a revenue figure for Roblox.

For the full year, the company said it expects bookings to range between  $4.1 billion and $4.28 billion, ahead of a consensus range of $3.4 billion to $4.27 billion.

— Samantha Subin, Rohan Goswami

Shares of NYCB rebound after bank announces new executive chairman

Shares of New York Community Bancorp. surged in premarket trading after the firm announced that former Flagstar Bank CEO Alessandro DiNello will become the company's executive chairman, effective immediately.

The bank scheduled a conference call to discuss these changes for 8:30 am ET on Wednesday.

The move comes after NYCB's stock has fallen dramatically over the past week over concerns about the company's potential loan losses. Moody's Investors Service downgraded the bank's credit rating on Wednesday to junk status.

Shares of NYCB were up 13% in premarket trading to $4.75, after having dipped briefly to $3.50 per share earlier in extended trading.

— Jesse Pound

Alibaba shares jump on buyback news

Alibaba shares jumped after the Chinese e-commerce giant said it would be accelerating share buybacks even after missing market expectations for sales.

U.S. listed shares of the company rose 3.2% in premarket trading after it announced it would increase the size of its share buyback program by $25 billion. For its first fiscal quarter, Alibaba reported revenue of 260.35 billion Chinese yuan ($36.6 billion) versus 262.07 billion yuan expected.

Alibaba is coming off a tumultuous year, during which it executives its its largest-ever corporate structure overhaul and made several high-profile management changes.

—Arjun Kharpal, Evelyn Cheng, Jeff Cox

Hong Kong-listed China EV stocks rise on Beijing's plan to boost sector's growth

A BYD Seagull small electric car is on display during the 20th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai)
Vcg | Visual China Group | Getty Images
A BYD Seagull small electric car is on display during the 20th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai)

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese electric vehicle companies rose in late morning trading after China's commerce ministry revealed its plan for "healthy development of new energy vehicles" in the country.

Shares of BYD Company rose 2.7%, Nio jumped 3.3%, while Xpeng and Li Auto gained 1.2% each.

"The healthy development of new energy vehicle trade cooperation will help promote the transformation and upgrading of the automobile industry, and play an important supporting role in stabilizing and optimizing the structure of foreign trade," the statement read.

The Hang Seng index gained 0.3%, while the CSI 300 index added 0.4%.

Earlier this year, BYD produced more than 3 million new energy vehicles in 2023, beating U.S. EV leader Tesla's production numbers for a second straight year.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

China's SMIC warns of persistent macroeconomic, geopolitical challenges in 2024

China's biggest chipmaker SMIC said Wednesday that persistent global macroeconomic headwinds and geopolitical tensions could impact its business in 2024.

"In 2024, the company will still face the challenges from macroeconomic, geopolitics, industry competition and inventory for all products," said SMIC in its fourth-quarter 2023 earnings call on Wednesday.

The company on Tuesday posted a 54.7% drop in fourth-quarter profit, as the semiconductor industry faced several headwinds including inventory corrections and macroeconomic headwinds.

Profit in the fourth quarter of 2023 was $174.68 million, down 54.7% from the same period a year earlier. It was lower than LSEG analysts' expectations of $225.41 million. Gross margin in the fourth quarter dropped to 16.4% from 32% a year ago.

– Sheila Chiang

Kakaobank shares jump as Q4 profit rises, customer base grows

Kakaobank shares jumped 7% on Wednesday after the digital payments firm reported higher fourth-quarter profit.

The company's fourth-quarter net profit rose nearly 25% to 75.7 billion Korean won ($57.2 million) from a year earlier.

Kakaobank added 2.42 million new users to its platform, an 11.8% increase.

Operating revenue for the company stood at 663.7 billion Korean won ($501 million), a near 37% increase from the year-ago quarter.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Australia's Santos is biggest loser on ASX after merger talks with Woodside end

Australian energy firm Santos was the largest loser on the S&P/ASX 200 on Wednesday after merger talks with Woodside ended on Wednesday.

Shares of Santos plunged as much as 8.5%, while Woodside gained 2.38%.

Woodside said in an exchange filing that the two sides "ceased discussions regarding a potential merger."

Santos also confirmed the announcement: "Following an initial exchange of information, sufficient combination benefits were not identified to support a merger that would be in the best interests of Santos shareholders."

— Lim Hui Jie

ESPN, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox plan joint sports streaming service later this year

Warner Bros. Discovery, Fox and Disney's ESPN are planning on launching a joint sports streaming service later this year, the companies said on Tuesday.

Each company will own a one-third stake in the new platform, which has yet to have a name or price. Consumers will also have the option to either subscribe via a new app or through a bundle with the companies' other streaming products including Max, Hulu and Disney+.

Shares of Disney were about 1% lower in extended trading, while Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery stock added 6% and 3%, respectively.

— Brian Evans

Stock futures open little changed

Stock futures opened little changed on Tuesday as a fresh batch of quarterly results hit Wall Street from social media company Snap and legacy automaker Ford.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked down 22 points, or 0.06%. S&P 500 futures fell 0.03% while Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.02%.

— Brian Evans

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