Stock market today: Wall Street closes its best week of the year with a quiet finish

Stock market today: Wall Street closes its best week of the year with a quiet finish

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks closed Friday with their best performance so far this year, staying close to their records.

The S&P 500 fell 7.35 points, or 0.1%, from its all-time high to close at 5,234.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 305.47, or 0.8%, to 39,475.90, and the Nasdaq composite rose 26.98, or 0.2%, to 16,428.82 to extend its record.

Nike dragged the market after falling 6.9%. It reported stronger results for the latest quarter than analysts expected, but is in the midst of several fundamental changes to inject more new features into its shoes and other products to make them more popular.

Lululemon Athletica shares also fell despite a better-than-expected earnings report. The sportswear company gave revenue and profit forecasts for the next fiscal year that fell short of analysts' expectations and plunged 15.8%.

Reddit fell 8.8% to recoup some of the big gain from its dynamic debut on the US stock market. The eclectic bazaar of online communities offered its shares at an initial price of $34 per share and gained 48.4% on its first day of trading on Thursday.

Helping to support the market was FedEx, which rose 7.4% after reporting stronger-than-expected profits despite what it called “a difficult demand environment.”

Some of the market's wildest action centered on Digital World Acquisition Corp. The company's shareholders on Friday approved a merger with the company behind former President Donald Trump's Truth Social platform. Its shares went from a 12% gain at the start of the day to a 13.7% drop.

The stock had been on a spectacular run this year as Trump moved toward the Republican nomination for president. But it began to fall shortly after Digital World shareholders approved the merger, which would see Trump Media & Technology Group shares trade under the symbol DJT and replace Digital World's DWAC.

Critics have said Digital World stock is much, much higher than the companies' fundamentals suggest, and Truth Social has been losing money.

In the bond market, Treasury yields sank and retreated further during the week. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 4.20% from 4.27% late Thursday.

Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve indicated it could still make three interest rate cuts this year as long as inflation continues to cool. That eased concerns on Wall Street that several higher-than-expected inflation reports this year could force it to withdraw rate cuts.

The Federal Reserve's main interest rate is at its highest level since 2001, and Wall Street expects cuts to begin in June. Such reductions would relieve pressure on the economy and the financial system.

Continued expectations of an upcoming Fed move on rates are likely to support stocks, along with growing investment in artificial intelligence and several other market drivers, according to David Lefkowitz, head of U.S. equities at UBS Global Wealth Management.

But he thinks the S&P 500 will end the year close to where it is now, having already risen nearly 10% so far in 2024.

In overseas stock markets, indices fell 2.2% in Hong Kong and 0.9% in Shanghai, but moved more modestly elsewhere in mixed trading in the rest of Asia and Europe.

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