S&P 500 Gains and Losses Today: Index Tops 5500 as Powell Touts Inflation Progress

On Tuesday, July 2, 2024, the S&P 500 advanced by 0.6% to a record close as investors responded positively to the positive tone about inflation progress conveyed by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The rally resulted in the S&P 500 closing above the 5,500 milestone for the first time, while the Nasdaq also climbed to a record close with an increase of 0.8%. The Dow increased by 0.4%.

Tesla shares led the S&P 500, rising by 10.2% for the second consecutive day following the electric vehicle maker exceeding analysts’ expectations in their second-quarter delivery forecasts. Tesla will release its next earnings report after the markets close on July 23, providing further insight into the company’s progress.

Shares of pharmaceutical firm Incyte decreased by 3.0% following a downgrade from analysts at BMO Capital, who highlighted concerns about the company’s cash position.

Paramount Global saw a 5.7% surge in its shares due to rumors of potential acquisition by billionaire Barry Diller’s firm, IAC. The New York Times reported that IAC had signed a nondisclosure agreement with Paramount’s controlling shareholder National Amusements, potentially indicating the commencement of acquisition talks.

Shares of ON Semiconductor climbed by 5.4% due to Wells Fargo’s renewed “overweight” rating and expectations of strong revenue and earnings growth. Analysts believe the company is well-positioned to turn a corner, with its ongoing restructuring plan and strong position in silicon carbide chips contributing to this positive outlook.

Nitrogen fertilizer producer CF Industries marked Tuesday’s weakest performance in the S&P 500 with a 3.5% dip in share prices. The company’s May earnings report showed year-over-year declines in revenue and net earnings. Moreover, natural gas prices, a critical input in the nitrogen production process, remain higher than this spring’s lows, albeit ticking slightly downwards over the past week.

Lastly, First Solar’s shares decreased by 2.7% as analysts at Baird trimmed their price target for the company. Despite believing that the solar manufacturer is well-positioned to benefit from increasing power demand from artificial intelligence power centers, concerns were raised about First Solar’s average selling price and cost per watt forecasts.

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