S&P 500 closes little changed as investors brace for Fed's preferred inflation gauge: Live updates

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The S&P 500 eked out a narrow gain on Thursday as Wall Street looked ahead to fresh inflation data for clues as to when the Federal Reserve will begin to lower interest rates.

The broad market index closed higher by 0.09% at 5,482.87. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.30% to end at 17,858.68, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 36.26 points, or 0.09%, to close at 39,164.06.

Key semiconductor stocks were in the red, raising questions on whether the artificial intelligence trade can continue to sustain markets in the back half of this year. Micron shares slipped more than 7% after the chipmaker issued fourth-quarter revenue guidance that was in line with estimates. Semiconductor giant and market bellwether Nvidia also sagged, dipping 1.9%.

Those moves come as traders look to the release of May's core personal consumption expenditures price index, which is the Fed's preferred measure of inflation. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect core PCE rose 0.1% month over month and 2.6% from the year-earlier period.

Traders hope the report will show easing pricing pressures that could cement the likelihood the Fed will lower interest rates later this year.

"Should the PCE disappoint, stagflation headlines will hit the tape, but if estimates hold or surprise with cooler data, it should help the market ease into July," said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial.

"An overbought market and relatively expensive market based on just a handful of mega names may need to recalibrate and allow other sectors to co-exist with them or even begin to lead the market," said Krosby. "Such adjustments can trigger pockets of volatility coupled with attractive pockets of opportunity."

Several stocks slid after reporting quarterly earnings. Levi Strauss dropped 15.4% after the jeans maker's latest quarterly revenue disappointed investors. Walgreens Boots Alliance plunged more than 22% after cutting its full-year outlook and issuing lower-than-expected earnings in the previous quarter.

S&P 500 closes flat Thursday

The S&P 500 ended Thursday's trading session little changed.

The broad market index inched up just 0.09%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.30%. The 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average added around 36 points, or 0.09%.

— Hakyung Kim

Retail stores have even more competition now due to e-commerce, retail analyst says

Today's brick-and-mortar retailers are due to face even more obstacles because of the breadth of e-commerce offerings now available to consumers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to JPMorgan retail analyst Matthew Boss.

"It's a lot more cutthroat competition, and being equal on price to the discounters might not be enough because now you might not be as convenient given that technology advance that's happened outside of their world," Boss told CNBC's "The Exchange" on Thursday afternoon.

The analyst added that he is currently favoring a selection of stocks that includes off-price retailers such as TJX, Burlington Stores and Ross Stores.

"They have brands for great value. They're not pushing price but instead that value component where the consumer comes in, that treasure hunt," he shared.

Boss also likes Ollie's Bargain Outlet, Dollar Tree, Birkenstock, PVH and Royal Caribbean, among others.

— Lisa Kailai Han

These are the biggest winners in the S&P 500

Super Micro Computer and Nvidia are the best performers in the S&P 500 as the first half nears an end and excitement around artificial intelligence shows no signs of easing. Shares have surged 211% and 152%, respectively.

Vistra is another big winner in the index, up 126%. Constellation Energy and GE Aerospace have added 75% and 57%, respectively. Despite Thursday's sell-off, Micron Technology is up 57% on the year.

Other significant winners include Eli Lilly, CrowdStrike, Deckers Outdoor and Arista Networks, with gains exceeding at least 48%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the biggest loser in the index, down 55% since the start of the year.

— Samantha Subin

AI boom will benefit industrials and materials stocks, Wells Fargo says

The artificial intelligence boom will create more demand for companies in the industrials and materials sectors, according to Scott Wren, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo.

"We believe the generative AI push will likely benefit the basic industries that both of these sectors represent, even in a slower-growth economy," Wren wrote in a note to clients.

The excitement around AI has thus far benefited mainly chipmakers such as Nvidia and software names including Microsoft, but that should broaden out as spending ramps up, according to Wells Fargo.

"The fact remains that little can happen to actually ramp up use of these products until the infrastructure has been adequately updated," Wren added.

— Jesse Pound

9 stocks in the S&P 500 hit new 52-week highs

During Thursday's trading session, nine stocks in the S&P 500 reached new 52-week highs. These stocks were also trading at new all-time highs.

Names that hit this milestone included:

  • Alphabet C share trading at all-time highs back to the special distribution on April 2, 2014, when the nonvoting share was created, and it began trading on April 3, 2014
  • Alphabet A share trading all-time highs back to its initial public offering on Aug. 19, 2004
  • trading at all-time-high levels since back to its IPO in May 1997
  • Booking Holdings trading at all-time highs back to its IPO in April 1999
  • Royal Caribbean trading at all-time-high levels back to its IPO in April 1993
  • Intuitive Surgical trading at all-time highs back to its IPO in June 2000
  • Arista Networks trading at all-time-high levels back to its IPO in June 2014
  • Fair Isaac trading at all-time highs back to when it was listed at the New York Stock Exchange in 1986
  • Microsoft trading at all-time-high levels back to its IPO in March 1986

On the other hand, Walgreens Boots Alliance was trading at lows not seen since June 1997.

— Lisa Kailai Han, Christopher Hayes

Walgreens heads for worst day in more than 50 years

Walgreens Boots Alliance's postearnings sell-off put the stock on track for its worst day in at least half a century.

Shares tumbled close to 25% on Thursday. That would mark its worst session for either Walgreens or Walgreens Boots Alliance in CNBC's records going back to 1972.

Thursday's retreat comes after the drugstore chain slashed its profit outlook and warned of a "challenging" consumer environment. Walgreens also missed expectations of analysts polled by FactSet for earnings per share in its third fiscal year.

The stock's current worst-completed trading day took place in October 2007, when shares dropped around 15%. Walgreens first went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1927, before becoming the Walgreens Boots Alliance in late 2014.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has plummeted more than 54% in 2024, on track for its third straight negative year. The stock was replaced by Amazon in the Dow earlier this year.

— Alex Harring, Gina Francolla

Real estate is the leading sector in the S&P 500

Real estate was the outperforming sector in the S&P 500 during Thursday's trading session.

The category was trading 0.7% higher, followed by consumer discretionary and communication services stocks, both up approximately 0.3%.

On the other hand, the consumer staples and health-care sectors led the broad market index lower. Stocks in both categories were trading around 0.4% in the red.

— Lisa Kailai Han

Chewy shares surge 13% on Roaring Kitty tweet

Online pet retailer Chewy rallied 12.6% after meme stock influencer Keith Gill, known as "Roaring Kitty," posted a picture of a cartoon dog on social media platform X.

Petco shares also gained more than 6% after the post.

— Hakyung Kim

SM Energy slumps as much as 12% after acquisition, dividend raise and buyback

Denver-based SM Energy tumbled as much as 12% in reaction to a $2.55 billion acquisition of oil and gas assets from privately held XCL Resources, or $2.04 billion after a concurrent sale of 20% of those holdings to Northern Oil and Gas for $510 million.

SM said the purchase, large in relation to SM's market value of $5.65 billion, would be immediately accretive to earnings and funded through a combination of debt and cash on hand.

SM's board also approved an 11% increase in its quarterly dividend, giving it a yield after today's slide of some 1.9%, and authorized a new $500 million stock buyback.

— Scott Schnipper

Retail traders bought the recent dip in Nvidia

Retailer traders took Nvidia's recent sell-off as a buying opportunity, snapping up shares of the dominant artificial intelligence chipmaker amid the volatility.

The cohort bought $1.8 billion worth of Nvidia shares over the past week as the Jensen Huang-led company suffered a quick pullback, according to JPMorgan data. 

Nvidia's sell-off started last Thursday after it temporarily unseated Microsoft as the most valuable public company in the U.S. It went on to see a 13% slump in the span of just three days. The stock has since recouped some of those losses, and the shares are now off just 2% so far this week.

— Yun Li

Stocks making the biggest moves midday

Here are the stocks on the move midday:

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance — The stock plummeted more than 24.5% after the retail company reported third-quarter earnings results that missed Wall Street's expectations. The company also announced a cut to its full-year adjusted profit outlook and said it would close stores that are underperforming as a way to cut costs. Shares of CVS fell more than 4% in sympathy.
  • Levi Strauss — The denim maker's stock tumbled 17.1% after revenue came in at $1.44 billion for the second fiscal quarter. That is slightly below the consensus forecast of $1.45 billion from analysts polled by LSEG.
  • International Paper — Shares of the paper manufacturing company fell nearly 8% following the news that Suzano is no longer pursuing a potential acquisition of the company. Suzano said it believes it had reached the maximum price for the transaction to general value without receiving any response from the other party.

Read the full list here.

— Sean Conlon

UBS strategists expect pullback ahead for stocks, say buy the dip

UBS derivatives strategists think the S&P 500 could sell off 2% to 3% in the next week or two, with pensions primed to sell about $30 billion to $40 billion amid low market liquidity.

That said, they think that pullback would be a good buying opportunity as many investors are properly hedged against a decline. "Further, summer seasonality typically points to lower volatility which should trigger $250-$300B of Buying from systematic funds," the UBS strategists said.

— Fred Imbert

Tom Lee sees further upside for stocks and inflation falling 'like a rock'

Fundstrat head of research Tom Lee told CNBC on Wednesday that he believes inflation is "going to fall like a rock" and help the stock market rally broaden out.

Lee pointed to the auto market in particular, where he sees downside on new car prices, as an area where goods inflation can continue to fall.

Lee also downplayed comparisons between the current market and the dot-com boom, saying investor sentiment does not feel like a bubble.

"There was a lot more ebullience back then, and a lot more people who didn't think stocks could ever go down. I think there's a lot of top-callers today," Lee said on "Squawk Box."

— Jesse Pound

Communication services leading weekly sector gains

Communication services is up 2.9% week to date, making it the top-performing sector in the S&P 500. Meta Platforms' 5% weekly gain is leading the sector, followed by Alphabet and News Corporation gaining more than 3%.

The energy sector is the second-highest gaining sector, rising 2%. Consumer discretionary is up 1.2% week to date, while information technology is just 0.1% higher.

— Hakyung Kim

Cybersecurity ETF pops 3%, heads for best day since November

The Global X Cybersecurity ETF jumped 3% Thursday and headed for its best day since November, when shares surged 3.7%.

BlackBerry was the biggest gainer in the fund, jumping 14% and on pace for its best day since August 2023. Telos Corporation and SentinelOne added more than 8% and 6%, respectively, while Palo Alto Networks surged 5%

Zscaler and Varonis Systems rose more than 4%.

— Samantha Subin, Gina Francolla

Hims & Hers shares tumble as questions mount about weight loss drug sales

Shares of telehealth platform Hims & Hers Health slid more than 8% Thursday after Hunterbrook Media published a report raising questions about the company's sale of weight loss drugs. Hunterbook is affiliated with hedge fund Hunterbrook Capital, which has a short position in Hims & Hers.

The popularity of anti-obesity medications such as Novo Nordisk's Wegovy and Eli Lilly's Mounjaro has resulted in shortages of the drugs. Hims & Hers is exploiting a loophole that allows compounded versions of drugs in short supply to be sold. The company has said it plans to sell the branded GLP-1 medications to its clients once supplies are more reliable.

The stock has gained more than 142% since the start of the year as investors bet that strong demand for weight loss drugs would lead to rapid growth for the firm.

Both Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk have filed lawsuits against numerous suppliers who are selling knock-off versions of their medications.

— Christina Cheddar Berk

Gold on pace for first negative month in four

Gold is around 0.1% higher for the week. If the gains hold, the metal will notch its second positive week in three.

Month to date, however, gold is down 0.5%, on pace for its first negative month in four.

Year to date, gold is up 12.6%.

— Hakyung Kim, Gina Francolla

Stocks open little changed Thursday

U.S. stocks began Thursday's trading session flat.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 42 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 was marginally lower, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%.

— Hakyung Kim

Walgreens has dismal stock performance

A Walgreens store in San Francisco on March 7, 2023.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Walgreens store in San Francisco on March 7, 2023.

Including today's plunge following its poor earnings report, shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance have plummeted 41% since the stock was booted from the Dow back in February — a mere four months ago.

That is also on top of another 41% it dropped in the year prior to being removed from the index.

Over a two-year span, the stock has lost 70% of its value.

Robert Hum

Here's a rundown of this morning's economic news

Initial jobless claims edged lower, demand for long-lasting big-ticket items was better than expected and first-quarter economic growth rose a bit as did inflation for the period, according to economic data releases Thursday.

  • The Commerce Department's third and final estimate for Q1 gross domestic product showed a seasonally adjusted annualized gain of 1.4%. That was 0.1 percentage point higher than the previous estimate but in line with the Dow Jones estimate.
  • Chain-weighted prices rose 3.1% in Q1, up from 3% previously. The personal consumption expenditures price index, which the Federal Reserve pegs as its preferred inflation gauge, rose 3.4% on all items and 3.7% on the core, both 0.1 percentage point above the previous estimate.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending June 22 totaled 233,000, down 6,000 from the previous week and below the 235,000 estimate, the Labor Department reported. Continuing claims, which run a week behind, rose to 1.839 million, the highest level since Nov. 27, 2021.
  • New orders for "durable goods," or long-lasting items such as aircraft, appliances and computers, unexpectedly increased 0.1% in May, below the downwardly revised 0.2% increase in April but better than the estimate for a 1% decline, according to the Census Bureau. Excluding defense, new orders were off 0.2% and down 0.1%, excluding transportation.

— Jeff Cox

Stocks making the biggest moves before the bell: Walgreens, Levi Strauss and more

These are the stocks moving the most in premarket trading:

Read the full list of stocks moving here.

— Lisa Kailai Han

Walgreens slashes earnings guidance, shares fall

A Walgreens retail store in Los Angeles on March 8, 2023.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
A Walgreens retail store in Los Angeles on March 8, 2023.

Walgreens shares fell more than 8% in the premarket after the pharmacy operator cut its full-year earnings outlook.

″'We assumed … in the second half that the consumer would get somewhat stronger" but "that is not the case," Walgreens CEO Tim Wentworth told CNBC. "The consumer is absolutely stunned by the absolute prices of things, and the fact that some of them may not be inflating doesn't actually change their resistance to the current pricing. So we've had to get really keen, particularly in discretionary things." 

— Fred Imbert

GSK falls after CDC RSV shot recommendation

Omar Marques | Lightrocket | Getty Images

GSK shares fell more than 1% in the premarket after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held off on recommending RSV vaccines for adults younger than 60. The move comes after a 3% decline in the prior session and puts GSK on pace for a three-day losing streak.

— Fred Imbert

These economic reports are set to release Thursday

A raft of economic data set to release Thursday includes weekly jobless claims, durable goods orders and pending home sales. Here is what economists anticipate ahead of the reports:

  • Jobless claims for the week ending June 22 is expected to have increased by 240,000, according to economists polled by Dow Jones. That is up slightly from 238,000 the prior week.
  • Durable goods orders, which measures new orders with U.S. manufacturers of long-lasting goods such as machinery or equipment, is anticipated to have fallen 0.6% in May, a Dow Jones consensus estimate showed. In the previous month, it had risen 0.6%.
  • Pending home sales, a gauge of housing contract activity, is expected by economists polled by Dow Jones to have risen 1% in May. That is up from a decline of 7.7% in April.

— Sarah Min

Wheat futures touch two-month low, on pace for worst month in two years

A combine harvests wheat on a field near Novosofiivka village, Mykolaiv region, in Ukraine, on July 4, 2023.
Anatolii Stepanov | AFP | Getty Images
A combine harvests wheat on a field near Novosofiivka village, Mykolaiv region, in Ukraine, on July 4, 2023.

September wheat futures fell to $5.5625 a bushel (60 pounds) on Wednesday, the lowest since April 19, bringing the month-to-date decline to 17.6%, on pace for the worst month since June 2022.

Wheat futures are down 11% so far in 2024.

— Scott Schnipper and Gina Francolla

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours

Here are the stocks making the biggest moves in extended trading:

  • Micron — Shares slipped 7% after the chipmaker issued current-quarter revenue guidance of $7.6 billion, which was in line with LSEG consensus estimates. Otherwise, the company beat third-quarter expectations on the top and bottom lines.
  • Levi Strauss — The jeans maker dropped 12% after Levi Strauss posted disappointing quarterly revenue despite a denim craze with consumers.
  • AeroVironment — Shares fell 6% even after the maker of unmanned aerial vehicles posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that topped expectations. AeroVironment posted adjusted earnings of 43 cents, topping the FactSet consensus estimate of 22 cents in earnings per share. Revenue of $197 million also topped the estimated $188.5 million.

— Sarah Min

S&P 500 futures open slightly lower

U.S. S&P 500 futures opened slightly lower Wednesday night.

S&P 500 futures dipped 0.19%, while Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.32%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 73 points, or 0.18%.

— Sarah Min

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