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Wall Street Marks Another Winning Week 02/23 15:44

   Stocks clung to modest gains on Wall Street Friday, giving the market 
another record high and a winning week.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks clung to modest gains on Wall Street Friday, giving 
the market another record high and a winning week.

   The listless day for stocks capped off a mostly solid week of earnings where 
the technology sector once again powered the market higher. The sector has been 
the driving force behind a rally that started in October.

   The S&P 500 index rose 1.77 points, or less than 0.1%, to 5,088.80. That 
marks another record high for the benchmark index and its sixth winning week in 
the last seven.

   Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.42 points, or 0.2%, to 39,131.53. The 
Nasdaq slipped 44.80 points, or 0.3%, to 15,996.82.

   Weakness in some technology companies weighed down the market, in a reversal 
from Thursday. Apple fell 1%. Nvidia eked out a 0.4% gain, after crossing above 
the $2 trillion valuation mark earlier in the day. On Thursday, the chipmaker 
surged after reporting blockbuster demand for its semiconductors, which are 
used to power AI applications.

   A pullback by travel-related companies also checked gains elsewhere in the 
market. Booking.com tumbled 10.1%, dragging other travel-related companies 
down. The online travel service beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter sales and 
profit targets but issued a lukewarm forecast that spooked investors. 
Competitor Expedia Group fell 2%.

   "Investors are sanguine, with political uncertainty, elevated valuations, 
and Fed uncertainty not able to dent the momentum in the market," said Mark 
Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide.

   Earnings remained the big focus. Ticket seller and concert promoter Live 
Nation rose 2% after beating analysts' revenue forecasts. Sleep Number, which 
sells beds and bedding products, surged 33% after beating beat Wall Street's 
revenue forecasts.

   On the losing end, Warner Bros. Discovery fell 9.9% after reporting a bigger 
loss than Wall Street expected.

   Outside of earnings, Intuitive Machines, the company that made the first 
U.S. lunar landing in more than 50 years, soared 15.8%.

   Energy stocks were mostly lower as oil and natural gas prices fell. U.S. 
crude oil prices slumped 2.7% and natural gas prices fell 7.4%.

   Treasury yields slipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 4.26% 
from 4.33% late Thursday.

   Markets were mostly higher in Europe and Asia. Tokyo's markets were closed 
for a holiday, a day after they surged to an all-time high.

   Investors have more big earnings to review next week as they try to get a 
better sense of where the economy is headed. Home improvement retailer Lowe's 
and discount retailer Dollar Tree will report results. Computer maker HP and 
electronics retailer Best Buy will also release their results.

   Analysts polled by FactSet expect companies in the S&P 500 to report 
earnings growth of just under 4% for the fourth quarter. Roughly 90% of 
companies in the index have already reported. Analysts are forecasting earnings 
growth of 3.6% for the current quarter.

   Wall Street will also get more economic data that could further clarify how 
consumers are feeling and whether inflation is still cooling. The Conference 
Board will release its consumer confidence survey for February and the 
government will provide another update on gross domestic product during the 
fourth quarter.

   The big focus will be on inflation data from the government's January report 
on personal consumption and expenditures. It is the Federal Reserve's preferred 
measure of inflation and is expected to cool to 2.4%. It peaked at 7.1% in June 
of 2022.

   The Fed has been trying to tame inflation back to its target of 2% and data 
last week on consumer and wholesale prices came in hotter than Wall Street 
expected. That prompted Wall Street to push expectations for the central bank 
to start cutting its benchmark interest. Traders are now expecting the Fed to 
cut rates in June instead of March.

 
 
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