The S&P 500 returns to all-time highs
The S&P 500 has once again impressed this Wednesday, February 07, 2024, with a remarkable bullish advance, reaching a new all-time high around the 5000-point barrier.
This remarkable rise has further consolidated its position as a leading index in the financial market, generating positive expectations among investors.
Since October last year, the continuous rise in price has been evident, and these latest movements could be attributed to various factors that have emerged in recent days.
The most important among them are impressive financial reports from influential companies within the S&P 500, as well as the revelation of relevant macroeconomic data.
These recent developments may be contributing significantly to the index’s upward momentum.
For starters, on February 6, 2024, Ford Motor Company announced impressive quarterly results, beating analysts’ expectations with earnings per share of 0.29 versus the forecast of 0.12 and earnings of 46 billion compared to 43.04 billion.
This announcement triggered a share price increase of more than 5%, especially in the consumer sector, supported by positive forecasts that exceeded investor estimates. Ford also projected earnings before interest and taxes between $10 billion and $12 billion for 2024, beating market expectations of $9.6 billion.
Despite this, some on Wall Street expressed concern about declining demand for electric vehicles.
Similarly, on February 7, 2024, two prominent companies also made important statements.
First, Uber Technologies unveiled its quarterly report, marking its first profit thanks, in part, to solid demand during the holiday season for its ridesharing and food delivery services.
It reported earnings of 9.94 billion, beating forecasts, with earnings per share of 0.66 compared to the forecast of 0.16.
Second, Walt Disney presented its quarterly report at the close of the New York market. Despite posting earnings per share of 1.22, beating the forecast of 1, earnings came in slightly below expectations, coming in at 23.5 billion instead of the 23.75 billion expected.
However, the stock experienced a 6% increase after the market close, reaching a price of 105.79 USD per share.
In addition to the above, investors were closely watching the outlook following the Fed’s announcement on January 31, 2024.
On this occasion, the Fed opted to hold interest rates at 5.50%, ruling out any possibility of a cut during the first quarter of the year.
Although this decision remained firm, the Fed hinted at the possibility of future adjustments, which would be conditional on the evolution of U.S. economic indicators.
Also, on February 2, 2024, government Non-Farm Payrolls data was released, one of the most significant indicators in the employment report and considered a solid reflection of the overall state of the economy.
With an increase of 353k jobs versus the forecast 187k, these numbers underscore the country’s robust labor force. In addition, the unemployment rate was also revealed on the same day, showing 3.7% versus 3.8% forecast, keeping in line with December 2023 and demonstrating a favorable trend in the labor market.
In conclusion, these days highlighted several events in the business and economic sphere.
Ford Motor Company surprised with exceptional quarterly results, beating expectations with solid earnings and optimistic forecasts. Uber Technologies also announced unexpectedly high earnings thanks to holiday demand, while Walt Disney, while beating earnings per share expectations, posted slightly lower-than-expected earnings.
In addition, the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady, although it left open the possibility of future adjustments.
On the other hand, government employment data reflected a robust labor market, with a significant increase in Non-Farm Payrolls and a better-than-expected unemployment rate.