The New York Stock Exchange ended Thursday slightly higher, approaching its highest historical levels on the eve of a three-day Easter weekend. The Nasdaq 100 set a record for the second session in a row. Trading volumes remained modest, against a backdrop of quarterly earnings. The IPOs of Pinterest on the Nyse (+28.4%) and Zoom Video on the Nasdaq (+72.2%) were welcomed by sharp increases. On the macro level, investors appreciated the announcement of a 1.6% increase in retail sales in March in the United States.
At closing, the Dow Jones index gained 0.42% to 26,559 points, while the broad S&P 500 index advanced 0.16% to 2.905 pts. In terms of technology and biotechnology stocks, the Nasdaq Composite , which has some 4,500 components, has added 0.02% to 7,998 pts. The narrower index, the Nasdaq 100, rose 0.12%, setting a historic record for the second consecutive session.
The DJIA is now 1% of its historical high (26,828 pts in closing, October 3, 2018), while the S & P 500 is at 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite has yet to go 1.4%. Over the week as a whole, the DJIA (+0.5%) and Nasdaq (+0.2%) increased, while the S & P 500 remained stable. Since the beginning of the year, the DJIA has gained 14%, the S & P 500 has gained 15.6% and the composite Nasdaq has jumped 20.5%.
As the Q1 corporate earnings season has just begun, investors are trying to discern whether these accounts will be able to support further price rises in a fragile global macroeconomic environment. An accommodating monetary policy, as well as a trade agreement with China (which could come at the end of May, according to the latest rumors) could give a new push to the markets. But many risks persist, especially on the side of faltering growth in Europe, where Brexit adds to uncertainties.