US stocks close sharply higher, Nvidia higher

NEW YORK: US stocks ended sharply higher on Wednesday (Aug 23) as shares of Nvidia gained ahead of quarterly results from the company whose chips are widely used for artificial intelligence (AI) computing.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 184.15 points, or 0.54%, to 34,472.98, the S&P 500 gained 48.46 points, or 1.10%, to 4,436.01 and the Nasdaq Composite added 215.16 points, or 1.59%, to 13,721.03.

Shares of Nvidia, which reported results after the closing bell, jumped 9%, extending a gain of 3.2% during the regular session.

It forecast third-quarter revenue above Wall Street targets. Other tech companies jumped in after-hours trading as well including Microsoft, which was last up about 2%.

Bullish investors have been hopeful that upbeat news from Nvidia could could further ear’s strong rally in tech stocks. Including the session move, Nvidia’s stock is up more than 220% for the year so far.

“Not just their numbers, but what they say in the conference call about what’s happening in AI is going to have a big impact on market sentiment,” said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

Nvidia is part of the so-called Magnificent Seven group of megacap stocks including Apple and Tesla that have powered the S&P 500’s sharp gains this year.

During the trading session, stock investors were encouraged as the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note eased from near 16-year highs after weak business activity data from the United States and the eurozone.

US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s comments on Friday at the Jackson Hole conference will be scrutinised for clues on the US central bank’s interest rate path.

According to strategists in a Reuters poll, the S&P 500 will eke out only marginal gains between now and year end, after its strong move up already this year. The index was forecast to end the year at 4,496.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare said there are hopes investors are “close to the end” of a rough period for stocks, with better trading liquidity expected after the August holidays. – Reuters, AFP