Stocks pop as Wall Street looks to continue record-setting run

US stocks moved higher on Tuesday as markets looked to continue a record-setting run that has become the story on Wall Street during the first quarter of the year.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose nearly 0.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) edged higher by roughly 0.2%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) led the way, rising more than 0.3%.

Wall Street took a break from its rally on Monday, with all three major indexes dipping slightly. But a bullish mood is prevailing, with the latest signal coming from Oppenheimer Asset Management strategist John Stoltzfus, who raised his 2024 S&P 500 price target to a Street high of 5,500.

On Tuesday, the focus turned to economic data. Durable goods orders rebounded during the month of February, rising 1.4% last month amid increases in transportation equipment and machinery orders, according to the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau.

In other economic news, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rose 6% in January from a year ago, up from December’s 5.6% gain. January’s annual increase was the highest since 2022.

Meanwhile, a fresh reading on US consumer confidence showed consumers are feeling less confident about the future state of the US economy.

According to new data released Tuesday morning, The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index for March came in at a reading of 104.7, little changed from a revised 104.8 in February.

However, the “Expectations Index,” which tracks consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions, fell to 73.8 in March from 76.3 last month. Historically, a reading below 80 in that category signals a recession in the coming year.

All of the data this week serve as appetizers for the main event on Friday, when the government will release the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, otherwise known as PCE. That contains the Federal Reserve’s preferred look at the pace of inflation, in the form of “core” PCE growth.

In company news, former President Donald Trump’s social media company was set for its Wall Street debut after merging with Digital World Acquisition Corp. Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. (DJT) rose more than 40% in early trading.

Live11 updates

  • Investors haven’t maxed out their risk appetite yet

    There have been signs of risk taking all over the market this week.

    Reddit stock (RDDT) has rallied more than 30% since since its initial public offering last Thursday and a has brought with it a resurgence in the meme trade.

    Bitcoin (BTC-USD) has pressed near $71,000 per coin. MicroStrategy (MSTR), a stock that more closely follows the price of bitcoin than typical fundamental drivers like earnings, is now up more than 200% year to date after a massive rally on Monday. And the commodities trade is ripping too, with Gold (GC=F) up 7% in the last month and sitting near an all-time high. The price of cocoa (CC=F) has risen nearly 50% over the same time period.

    The big moves come as the broader market sits at all-time highs. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) has hit 20 all-time highs in less than three months of trading this year, putting it on pace for the most record closes in any year ever year. The straight up and to the right nature of the benchmark’s rise over the last several months — it hasn’t produced a negative month since October 2023 — has had many asking if we’re in a stock market bubble that’s about to pop.

    Many strategists have argued the answer is no. In a research note on Monday, Deutsche Bank’s equity strategy team reasoned that the $260 billion that’s poured into equities since last May doesn’t indicate a peak in risk appetite. Instead, it’s been supported by an improving outlook for both the economy and earnings.

    Using the chart below, which accounts for seasonal and cyclical flows into equities, Deutsche Bank director of global asset allocation and US equity strategy Parag Thatte told Yahoo Finance the firm hasn’t seen flows data pick up purely because of risk appetite yet.

    “If flows or positioning were to get to an extreme, it becomes an issue by itself, because people could get nervous holding extended positions when we’re at a extreme,” Thatte said.

    “But because we’re not yet at those levels, what we would say is that you will need some sort of a negative catalyst in order for people to pull positions back.”

  • Trump Media, Tesla, Krispy Kreme: Stocks trending in afternoon trading

    Here are some of the stocks trending on Yahoo Finance in afternoon trading:

    Trump Media and Technology Group Corp. (DJT): The parent company of Truth Social, Donald Trump’s social media company, surged more than 40% in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq. The company merged with special purpose vehicle Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) in a deal approved by shareholders last week.

    Tesla (TSLA): Shares of the EV giant jumped about 4% on Tuesday after CEO Elon Musk said US customers will be able…

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