Stocks rise slightly to start the week, Microsoft gains: Live updates

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 16, 2023. 

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters

U.S. equities ticked up Monday as Wall Street started the shortened Thanksgiving holiday week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 87 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 added 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.6%.

Microsoft shares were up 1% after CEO Satya Nadella said former OpenAI chief Sam Altman will be joining the tech giant to lead a new AI research team.

The energy and tech sectors were the biggest gainers in the S&P 500, up 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively. APA and Marathon Oil added 1.9% and 1.8% each. In tech, Palo Alto Networks jumped 3%, while Salesforce increased by 1.2%.

U.S. markets will be closed Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Friday will also be a shortened trading day. Trading around the Thanksgiving holiday has been choppy in recent years, but November is still the best-performing month for the S&P 500, according to the Stock Traders’ Almanac.

Despite the short week, there are some key catalysts for the market ahead. Nvidia reports earnings Tuesday. The chipmaker is this year’s best-performing stock, up more than 200%.

Wall Street is coming off a winning weekly performance. The S&P 500 closed last week higher by 2.2% and the Dow added 1.9%, marking the first three-week streak for the indexes since July. The Nasdaq Composite finished the week higher by 2.4%, notching its best week since June.

Market bulls remain enthusiastic into year-end, particularly after cooler-than-expected U.S. inflation data released last week calmed investors’ nerves about stubbornly high prices and provided a hopeful indication that the Federal Reserve could stop raising interest rates.

“The markets are starting to really believe that the Fed is finished with interest rates,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group.

“Now the market is pricing in … the probability cone about when rate cuts will happen, and I think they’re closer than people really appreciate. And that’s why you’ve seen markets stabilized quite a bit quite a bit in the last month and a half,” Cox said.

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