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S&P 500 inches higher for a second day as tech shares gain

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The S&P 500 eked out a small gain Wednesday as investors evaluated their holdings following a booming first half of the year led by artificial intelligence plays.

The broad market index ended the day up 8.60 points, or 0.16%, to close at 5,477.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 15.64 points, or 0.04%, to end at 39,127.80. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 87.50 points, or 0.49%, to finish at 17,805.16.

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The Nasdaq is set for a 18.6% first-half gain because of a big run in Nvidia. After trading lower for much of the day, the chipmaker closed up around 0.3%. It was a modest move after Tuesday's 7% climb. The AI chipmaker's $3.1 trillion market value has come to dominate the cap-weighted S&P 500, and its 150% surge in 2024 has sparked concerns that most other stocks are failing to participate in this year's rally.

Shares of Amazon jumped 3.9%, leading the Nasdaq's upward climb. The stock reached an all-time high and topped $2 trillion in market value for the first time on Wednesday, joining Nvidia, Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft in reaching the milestone.

Outside of Big Tech names, the market was mostly sluggish as investors await fresh inflation data on Friday with the release of May's personal consumption expenditures price index. The Federal Reserve keeps a close eye on this gauge, and investors are hopeful that the central bank will lower interest rates at some point later this year if price increases continue to moderate.

The recent pullback across the broader market has raised speculation of whether the 2024 rally, largely powered by Nvidia, has run its course. The S&P 500 is trading less than 1% from where Wall Street strategists anticipate the broad market index ending the year at, according to the CNBC Market Strategist Survey.

"The stock market right now is very expensive," said David Bahnsen, chief investment officer at The Bahnsen Group. The investor believes a share price correction and reckoning is ahead for megacap tech names.

"Whether or not the past week's volatility in tech stocks is the start of something deeper, or if that reckoning is still forthcoming remains to be seen, but excessive investor sentiment, euphoria and overdone momentum always ends the same," Bahnsen added.

Most stocks were lower in the S&P 500 on Wednesday, but there were some positive standouts in the market. FedEx popped 15.5% after issuing better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter results. Rivian Automotive soared 23.2% after Volkswagen Group said it would invest up to $5 billion in the electric vehicle company.

Highlights:

Major averages close in the green

U.S. stocks finished Wednesday's trading session higher.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.04% and 0.16%, respectively. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.49%.

— Hakyung Kim

Amazon, Apple lift Dow higher

The Amazon Prime logo on a package in Manhattan.
Michael Kappeler | Picture Alliance | Getty Images
The Amazon Prime logo on a package in Manhattan.

Amazon rose 7.6 points, or 4.1%, making it the Dow's top performer on Wednesday.

Apple and Home Depot also gained around 4 points, or more than 1% each.

Meanwhile, Amgen declined around 6 points, or 1.2%, making it the worst performer in the 30-stock index.

— Hakyung Kim

Consumer discretionary outperforms Wednesday

Consumer discretionary was the only positive sector in the S&P 500 on Wednesday, gaining 1.7%.

Tesla jumped more than 4%, followed by Amazon and Carnival up more than 3%.

All other sectors in the broad market were negative. Energy was the biggest decliner, falling 0.8%. EQT, SLB and Coterra Energy all slid 2% and more.

— Hakyung Kim

167-year-old Barnes Group exploring strategic options including a sale, a report says

Barnes Group, a 167-year-old manufacturer of aerospace and industrial parts, surged as much as 9.3% intraday Wednesday after Bloomberg cited unnamed people with knowledge of the matter saying the Bristol, Connecticut-based company is exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.

Barnes, founded before the Civil War, in 1857, has a market value of some $2.01 billion, according to FactSet data. Short interest amounts to 4.4 days average trading volume. Barnes' predecessor, Associated Spring Corporation, became a publicly traded company in 1946 and moved to the New York Stock Exchange in 1963.

The company, which boasts one of the New York Stock Exchange's coveted, single-letter ticker symbols —B — changed its name to Barnes Group in 1976.

— Scott Schnipper

FedEx heads for best day in more than three decades

A postearnings rally in FedEx put the stock on track to notch its biggest one-day gain since 1986.

Shares of the transportation stock climbed more than 14.5% in Wednesday afternoon trading. If that holds through session close, it would mark the biggest percentage gain in a single session since jumping about 14.9% in September 1986.

The stock looks far different today than it did back then. With Wednesday's gain, the stock traded near the $294 mark. Back on that day in 1986, the stock closed slightly under $16.

FedEx on Tuesday offered earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter that topped Wall Street expectations and reported a drop in capital spending as cost-cutting measures took effect. The company recorded $5.41 in adjusted earnings per share on $22.11 billion in revenue, while analysts polled by LSEG anticipated just $5.35 a share and $22.07 billion in revenue.

— Alex Harring

CNBC Pro: Citi strategist says stocks may be due for pullback

Scott Chronert, U.S. equity strategist at Citi, worries the S&P 500′s advance this year is in danger as companies will have a high bar to clear next month with the start of the second-quarter reporting season.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read the full story here.

— Sarah Min

Rivian's venture with Volkswagen could boost the troubled stock, say analysts

Rivian's latest partnership with Volkswagen could prove a major boon for investors and the broader auto industry, according to some Wall Street analysts.

Rivian shares have hit a roadblock in recent months, shedding 34% year to date as the company grapples with rising market competition from China, slowing demand and struggles with attaining positive cash flows. But Wall Street views the deal as a potential turnaround opportunity that can help limit execution risks and uncertainties surrounding funding that have spooked investors in recent months.

The full story can be found here.

— Hakyung Kim, Samantha Subin

Stocks making the biggest moves midday

A FedEx employee sorts out parcels in the Manhattan borough of New York City on April 10, 2024.
Charly Triballeau | Afp | Getty Images
A FedEx employee sorts out parcels in the Manhattan borough of New York City on April 10, 2024.

Here are the stocks on the move midday:

  • Rivian Automotive — The stock surged more than 20% following the announcement that the electric vehicle startup secured a $5 billion investment from Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen's initial investment will be $1 billion in the form of a convertible note, with the additional $4 billion expected by 2026. Shares of fellow EV startup Lucid rose nearly 5% in sympathy.
  • FedEx — Shares of the company moved more than 14% higher after topping Wall Street's fiscal fourth-quarter expectations. The shipping giant earned $5.41 per share, after adjustments, on $22.11 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by LSEG were expecting earnings of $5.35 per share and revenue of $22.07 billion. The company's fiscal 2025 forecast was roughly in line with estimates.
  • Whirlpool — Shares soared nearly 15% after Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Bosch is considering making an offer for the appliance manufacturer.

Read the full list here.

— Sean Conlon

'Encouraging signs' for bull market health, according to Strategas

Although the bulk of earnings growth in the second quarter will stem from the "Magnificent Seven," other stocks across sectors in the S&P 500 will start to pick up, according to Strategas Securities.

"What remains encouraging to us is that the estimates for the remaining 493 are improving starting in the third quarter as growth rates for both the top of the market and the rest of the market normalize," Ryan Grabinski, director of investment strategy and quantitative research, wrote in a Wednesday note.

"Should this broadening come to fruition, it would be an encouraging sign for the sustainability of the bull market," Grabinski added.

The Magnificent Seven will experience "marginally slower" sales growth from 13.9% in the first quarter to 11.3% estimated growth in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, ex-Magnificent Seven stocks will see sales growth tick higher from 3.2% in the first quarter to a forecast 4.5% rise in the fourth quarter.

— Hakyung Kim

Cantor Fitzgerald raises price target for Nvidia to $175, sees 39% upside

CFOTO | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Nvidia remains one of Cantor Fitzgerald's top picks.

The investment firm reiterated its overweight rating for the graphics processing unit manufacturer in a Wednesday note. Analyst C.J. Muse simultaneously raised his price target on the stock to $175 from $140, implying shares could rise 39% from their Tuesday close.

Nvidia stock has soared 149% this year. Muse believes shares still have "quite a bit" of room left to run.

"We have never seen a more-torrid pace of technology innovation and subsequent reduction in cost of compute as we are seeing today — all driven by NVDA and its full system approach," the analyst wrote. "With this rapid pace of innovation, NVDA is only strengthening its already-robust moat, forcing competitors into playing an ongoing game of catch-up."

— Lisa Kailai Han

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

Six stocks in the S&P 500 index reached new 52-week highs during Wednesday morning's trading session.

Of these tickers, three names hit new all-time highs. The six names that reached this milestone included:

  • Alphabet C shares 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 shares trading at all-time highs back to its initial public offering on Aug. 19, 2004
  • AT&T trading at levels not seen since April 2023
  • Targa Resources trading at levels not seen since November 2014
  • FedEx trading at levels not seen since July 2021
  • Microsoft trading at all-time-high levels back to its IPO in March 1986

On the other hand, Aptiv, J.M. Smucker, Paycom and Weyerhaeuser were trading at their 52-week lows.

— Lisa Kailai Han, Christopher Hayes

Campbell Soup shares rise after JPMorgan joins bull camp for first time since 2009

Cans of Campbell's soup are displayed along a grocery store's shelves in New York City on Aug. 7, 2023.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Cans of Campbell's soup are displayed along a grocery store's shelves in New York City on Aug. 7, 2023.

Campbell Soup shares advanced more than 3% on Wednesday after JPMorgan said it was turning bullish on the stock for the first time in 15 years.

Analyst Ken Goldman upgraded Campbell to overweight, a rating JPMorgan has not had on the stock since 2009. He cited its recent acquisition of Sovos Brands as a reason to be optimistic, specifically citing strength in the popular Rao's brand.

With Wednesday's bounce, Campbell Soup shares are up more than 5% on the year.

CNBC Pro subscribers can click here for the full story.

— Alex Harring

Electric vehicle stocks rise as Rivian heads for best day ever

Electric vehicle stocks rose Wednesday as Rivian Automotive powered toward its best day on record after locking in $5 billion in funding from Volkswagen.

Lucid Group and Chinese EV maker Xpeng added 5% and 3%, respectively. Tesla jumped roughly 3%.

Rivian shares were last up 28%, in part due to a possible short squeeze given that a significant number of shares are sold short. The stock is down 34% in 2024.

— Samantha Subin

Grindr tracks for best day of 2024 following raised revenue outlook

Grindr headed for its best day this year on Wednesday as it hosts its first-ever investor day as a publicly traded company.

Shares of the LGBTQ+ dating app, which went public in late 2022, traded more than 10% higher Wednesday morning. That would mark its best day since November 2023, when the stock climbed nearly 16% in one session. The stock also touched a new 52-week high in Wednesday trading.

Grindr raised its 2024 revenue guidance to reflect year-over-year growth of at least 25%, above the consensus forecast of 24.4% from analysts polled by FactSet. The company also said to expect between 20% and 25% annual revenue growth through 2027.

The firm is also sharing multiyear plans to expand functionality within the platform, powered in part by artificial intelligence.

Grindr has begun winning the favor of Wall Street in recent months, with one analyst calling the stock "the best house in the digital gayborhood." Shares have climbed nearly 30% this year.

— Alex Harring

New home sales tumbled in May

Homes starting at a half-million dollars in Lexington Waters is a community with wetlands, trees and a variety of home options, in Blaine, Minnesota.
Michael Siluk | Getty Images
Homes starting at a half-million dollars in Lexington Waters is a community with wetlands, trees and a variety of home options, in Blaine, Minnesota.

Home sales slumped in May while the median sales price nudged lower, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Sales of new single-family homes totaled 619,000 for the month, down 11.3% from the upwardly revised figure for April, which was revised all the way up to 698,000 from the initial estimate of 634,000.

The median sales price was $417,400, down $500 from the previous month, while the average sales price climbed to $520,000, compared to $503,700 in April.

— Jeff Cox

Vista Outdoor jumps 11% on increased hostile private equity buyout offer

Remington ammunition maker Vista Outdoor climbed about 11% early Wednesday after MNC Capital Partners raised its hostile buyout offer to $42 a share in cash — 24% above Tuesday's close — worth a total of about $3.2 billion.

Late Tuesday, Vista said it received national security clearance in the U.S. to sell its Kinetic Group subsidiary to Czechoslovak Group for $2 billion, or $18 a share. Vista's board recommends shareholders approve the deal in a vote scheduled for July 2.

MNC, based in Montreal but with offices in Dallas, said its buyout is all cash, "has no regulatory issues and is not subject to any financing conditions. MNC holds secured debt and equity commitments more than sufficient to close the transaction and stands ready to provide those to Vista," its latest statement said, adding it won't raise its offer any further.

— Scott Schnipper

Stocks trade lower Wednesday

U.S. stocks opened in the red on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 183 points, or 0.5%.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1%.

— Hakyung Kim

Dollar climbs above 160 against the yen

Japanese 10,000 yen, left, and U.S. 100 dollar banknotes arranged for a photograph in Tokyo, Japan, on May 10, 2024.
Noriko Hayashi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Japanese 10,000 yen, left, and U.S. 100 dollar banknotes arranged for a photograph in Tokyo, Japan, on May 10, 2024.

The dollar appreciated to 160.40 against the yen, marking the highest level since Dec. 24, 1986, when the dollar traded as high as 161.37 against the yen. The move higher raised speculation that Japanese policymakers could intervene to prop up the yen.

The dollar index reached its highest level since May 1 of 105.994.

Month to date, the dollar index is up 1.3%, pulling it up 4.6% in 2024.

— Hakyung Kim, Gina Francolla

Rivian, FedEx among Wednesday's biggest premarket movers

Here are some of the stocks on the move before the bell:

  • Rivian Automotive — Shares of Rivian Automotive skyrocketed more than 40% after the electric vehicle company secured up to $5 billion in funding from Volkswagen Group. A so-called short squeeze added fuel to the gain as about 19% of the Rivian shares available for trading were sold short before this news, according to FactSet.
  • FedEx — FedEx shares popped 14% on strong fiscal fourth-quarter results. The shipping giant surpassed Wall Street's estimates on the top and bottom lines and reported a 16% rise in capital spending from fiscal 2023 as its cost-cutting measures take effect.
  • Whirlpool — Whirlpool shares surged more than 18% following a Reuters report that Bosch is reportedly weighing an offer for the home appliance company.

Read the full list here.

— Samantha Subin

Citi adds Shopify to its list of highest-conviction ideas

The logo of Shopify is seen outside its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, on Sept. 28, 2018.
Chris Wattie | Reuters
The logo of Shopify is seen outside its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, on Sept. 28, 2018.

Shopify is on the right side of artificial intelligence, growth and margins heading into 2025, according to Citi. The firm reiterated its buy rating on the stock and added it to its "focus list" of highest conviction ideas.

While Shopify's investment cycle has pressured margin expansion this year, its increased marketing spend is a net positive given the favorable return on investment, analyst Tyler Radke wrote in a note Wednesday.

"We like the stock's event path offering accelerating (albeit mechanical) revenue growth in 2H24 with profitability set to inflect in 2025," he said. "Shopify also avoids the ongoing macro/AI-induced budget uncertainty as more of a 'downstream beneficiary' of AI trends."

Shares of Shopify rose nearly 2% in premarket trading but are down about 17% year to date.

— Michelle Fox

Rivian shares surge 37% on Volkswagen investment news

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe reacts at an event to unveil a smaller R2 SUV in Laguna Beach, California, on March 7, 2024.
Mike Blake | Reuters
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe reacts at an event to unveil a smaller R2 SUV in Laguna Beach, California, on March 7, 2024.

Electric automaker Rivian rallied 37.6% on the news that Volkswagen Group is planning to invest up to $5 billion in the company.

Volkswagen is starting with a $1 billion investment in Rivian, with the remaining $4 billion expected by 2026.

The deal will help Rivian on its journey to become cash-flow positive, Rivian CEO and founder RJ Scaringe said Tuesday night during an investor call.

More on the investment can be found here.

— Hakyung Kim, Michael Wayland

European markets open higher

European markets opened higher on Wednesday, reversing negative sentiment seen in the previous trading session.

Major bourses started the day in green territory, with the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gaining 0.3%, France's CAC 40 adding 0.41% and Germany's DAX rising 0.6% as of 8:09 a.m. London time.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was last 0.3% higher.

Technology stocks led gains and were most recently up 0.95%, while autos fell 0.46%.

— Sophie Kiderlin

Poor breadth is creating buying opportunities, Charles Schwab's Liz Ann Sonders says

Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, thinks weakness in individual stocks is creating buying opportunities.

The investment chief noted that resilience this year on the index level has disguised poor breadth below the surface. She noted, for example, that a greater share of constituents in the Nasdaq Composite are below their 200-day moving averages than in the S&P 500. For investors, she expects this means the Nasdaq can outperform the S&P 500 on a relative basis going forward.

It also suggests that investors can find individual buying opportunities, she said, though she urged investors to focus on quality companies with strong balance sheets and cash flow.

"I think there's opportunities being created at the individual stock level because of how much weaker breadth has been for the average stock," Sonders told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Tuesday.

"I think they should stay high quality," she added.

— Sarah Min

Nvidia’s forward P/E, market cap could surge by year’s end, EMJ Capital's Eric Jackson says

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 2, 2024.
Ann Wang | Reuters
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 2, 2024.

Nvidia is poised to continue its monster run, according to EMJ Capital's Eric Jackson. The hedge fund manager sees its forward price-to-earnings ratio hitting close to 70 and rising to $6 trillion in market cap at $250 per share by year's end.

"This is a highflier," the firm's founder and president told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Tuesday, adding that the euphoria still has not caught up yet. He sees euphoria being reflected in a "lofty" valuation in the second half of 2024 when sales from its Blackwell chip start to come in and the future release of its next-generation Rubin chips generates anticipation.

"Nobody's catching up to them," he continued. "It's years away from that happening. They're going to take advantage of that lead that they have."

Shares of the chipmaker rose about 6.8% during Tuesday's trading session, and its forward P/E was at 47.47. The stock is up 154.6% this year.

"We're below the mean for the last five years, so even though the stock has done so well, it is still relatively cheap compared to where it's traded in the past," he said.

— Sean Conlon

Stock futures are little changed

Stock futures were little changed on Tuesday, following the S&P 500's rebound from a three-session slide.

Futures tied to the broad market index ticked down 0.06%. Nasdaq 100 futures pulled back 0.02%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 62 points, or 0.1%.

— Brian Evans

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