December 1, 2021

The S&P 500 gained in a choppy session after strong earnings results from Nvidia, the world’s largest chipmaker by market value, and various retailers.

The Dow Jones Industrials trailed Wednesday’s close by 60.1 points to end Thursday at 35,870.95, dragged lower by big losses in Cisco shares

The S&P 500 regained 15.87 points to 4,704.54.

The NASDAQ Composite regrouped 72.14 points to 15,993.71.

Trading has been choppy this week with the major averages mostly wavering around the flat line, but the S&P and NASDAQ are still on track for a positive week and are sitting less than 1% from their records. The Dow is 1.8% from its record.

Even with those mixed market moves, company earnings continue to show strength and eventually pushed the major averages higher. Nvidia shares surged 8.3% after the company reported beats on the top and bottom lines and issued a bullish revenue forecast for the current quarter ending in January. The chipmaker saw a 55% gain in data center sales from the same period a year ago and a 42% increase in gaming, its biggest market. The gain brought its market value to $791 billion.

Nvidia’s strong results caused investors to buy other chipmakers. Advanced Micro Devices moved more than 2.4% higher. Qualcomm ticked up by more than 1%, and Micron Technology added 2%. Separately, GlobalFoundries saw a big pop after revealing it entered a partnership with Ford to help the automaker increase its chip supply. Its shares ended the day higher by 2.5%.

In other tech moves, Apple jumped 2.9% to an all-time high after Bloomberg News reported the company is refocusing its electric vehicle efforts on self-driving capabilities. Amazon gained 4% as its first cashierless coffeeshop, which it partnered on with Starbucks, opened in New York. It also got a lift from continued positive momentum in retail, particularly in digital.

Earnings reports from big retailers continued to lift stocks. Macy’s and Kohl’s kicked the day off smashing quarterly profit and revenue estimates, much like their peers who reported earlier in the week.

Macy’s shares surged more than 21%. The company reported comparable sales growth, on an owned plus licensed basis, of 35.6%, and digital sales increased by 19%. It also teased the launch of a digital marketplace next year, and said 41% of its 4.4 million new customers in the quarter came through the digital channel.

Similarly, Kohl’s saw gains in same-store sales growth and digital. Kohl’s jumped nearly 11%. JD.com, China’s largest online retailer, advanced about 6% on strong revenue and earnings.

Shares of Bath & Body Works increased more than 5% and was the top S&P gainer behind Nvidia. Gap added 4.3% and Victoria’s Secret jumped more than 14%.

Elsewhere, CVS advanced about 2% after announcing it would close 900 stores over the next three years to roll out a more digital strategy for shoppers and turn brick-and-mortar locations into destinations for healthcare services like flu shots and diagnostic tests.

Deere got a 1% lift too after it came to a resolution with workers who had been on strike since Oct. 14.

Initial filings for unemployment insurance fell slightly to 268,000 for the week ending Nov. 13, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

That was the lowest level since March 2020, and the seventh straight weekly decline. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected them to have fallen to 260,000, compared to the previous week’s adjusted 269,000 claims.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys were lower, raising yields to Wednesday’s 1.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices recovered 47 cents to $78.83 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $8.30 to $1,861.90 U.S. an ounce.

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