Stock Market Today: Wall Street Seeks to Extend Record-Breaking Streak as Stocks Rally

Stock Market Today: Wall Street Seeks to Extend Record-Breaking Streak as Stocks Rally

US stocks opened 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 about 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) edged higher by roughly 0.1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) led the way up, rising nearly 0.4%.

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 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.

A fresh reading on US consumer confidence is due later this morning.

All of the data this week serves 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 30% in early trading.

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  • US stocks open higher, led by Nasdaq

    US stocks opened higher on Tuesday, led by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

    At the opening bell, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose about 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) edged higher by roughly 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) jumped nearly 0.4%.

  • Reddit rally rages on

    The post IPO Reddit (RDDT) rally has continued.

    After a 30% pop on Monday, shares are up another 14% pre-market. The company has the top trending ticker page on Yahoo Finance this morning.

    Reddit’s market cap now stands at nearly $10 billion, up sharply from the $6.5 billion valuation the company priced its IPO at last week.

    Perspective…

    • Meta (META) market cap: $1.28 trillion

    • Snap (SNAP) market cap: $18.6 billion

  • Cocoa prices rip higher — here’s the problem for Hershey

    The sell-off in Hershey’s (HSY) stock is picking up as cocoa prices rip to a record high.

    Hershey shares are off by 5% in the past five trading sessions as cocoa prices have moved beyond a record $10,000 a ton. Cocoa prices have more than doubled this year on the back of poor crop conditions in West African regions.

    The problem for Hershey is that it seems well behind the curve on raising prices to offset less than sweet cocoa costs. Hershey is in the midst of implementing new technology that better tracks ordering, shipping and prices, which is weighing on execution. In turn, Hershey’s profit margins in the first half of 2024 stand to be under a great deal of pressure.

    A reminder on this issue from Hershey’s early February earnings call. The comments are from CFO Steve Voskuil:

    “When we think about the impact of future price increase, we’re really challenged in the first half of this year just because of the ERP [enterprise resource planning] implementation — it puts some limitations on what we can do. And you can imagine enormous collaboration between us and retailers to execute that transformation. So we’re trying to keep things very stable during that period. And so further price increases should they come, will benefit more the back half of the year and probably more so 2025.”

  • The next shoe to drop at Under Armour

    The revolving C-suite door at struggling Under Armour (UAA) is likely to keep spinning in the months ahead.

    Returning CEO and founder Kevin Plank is likely to make leadership team changes in the months ahead, a person familiar with the matter tells me. This makes sense as the leadership team was completed overhauled by exiting CEO Stephanie Linnartz, as I have reported.

    Other top executives not keen on working with Plank — a controversial leader with a checkered history on delivering cultural excellence —are already eyeing the exits, the source tells me.

    Plank essentially booted Linnartz from the CEO position, sources have told me, angering corporate employees.

    Under Armour shares are down about 14% since Plank announced his return on March 13 as investors fret over uncertainty at the company.

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