Wall Street Keeps Getting Closer To Record Levels

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    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.

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    I handle much of news coverage for tech stocks, and occasionally cover companies in different sectors. In the past, I've written for other financial sites and published independent investment research, primarily on tech companies. I have a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University. I'm based out of San Diego, but grew up in Southern New Jersey. I play basketball and tennis in my spare time, am a long-time (and long-suffering) fan of Philadelphia's sports teams, and alternate daily between using an iPad Air, a Galaxy Note 3, and one or two Windows PCs.

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