AI Events Dictate Monday’s Bull Market; Zoom Beats

fan of 100 U.S. dollar banknotesImage Source: UnsplashA familiar narrative from 2023 took hold of the markets today: tech stocks, particularly those with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities. Succinctly, this morning we saw that fledgling AI company OpenAI had fired its CEO Sam Altman — and Microsoft (MSFT) wasted no time wooing Altman to run its AI business. The dust is far from settled here, including the exact reason for Altman’s termination from OpenAI, but the result by today’s close is that Microsoft has gained another +2% to an all-time high in stock value.NVIDIA (NVDA) is also at a record high by the end of Monday’s normal trading session, one day ahead of reporting Q3 earnings. The graphics processing innovator — and forerunner of 2023’s “Magnificent Seven” stocks — is expected to bring +479% earnings growth year over year and +171% revenue growth. The Nasdaq index itself has sped ahead +37% year to date — double the second-place S&P 500 — largely on companies like NVIDIA, which has gained +250% from the first of the year. The Nasdaq is also up in 15 of the past 17 sessions.All told, the Dow grew another +203 points today, +0.58%, while the S&P 500 increased by an even stronger margin, +0.74%. The Nasdaq stayed true to form and led the way among major indices, +159 points or +1.13% (with more help from Microsoft and NVIDIA) while the small-cap Russell 2000 — which has led the way over the past five sessions — brought up the rear for today, +0.45%.Earlier today, we saw October Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) come in lower month over month to -0.8% from -0.7% previously, wallowing in recessionary conditions for the past year or so. Over the past six months, we’ve seen -3.3% LEI, but this is the good news: the previous six months we were -4.5%. Those previous numbers pointed to a pending recession, but as we know, it has not come to pass. And now, with gasoline prices coming down, consumers may begin seeing some relief ahead of Black Friday, which would suggest perhaps we’ve passed through the worst of our economic conditions.Zoom Video (ZM) reported fiscal Q4 numbers after today’s close, outpacing expectations on both top and bottom lines. Earnings of $1.29 per share easily surpassed the $1.08 in the Zacks consensus, while revenues of $1.14 billion were ahead of estimates of $1.12 billion. Next-quarter earnings guidance was boosted as well, to a range of $1.13-1.15 per share from $1.08 analysts had been expecting. Shares of Zoom have zoomed up +6% in late trading on the news, though the stock is flat year to date.More By This Author:Bear Of The Day: Dollar General (DG)Bull of the Day: IntelAirline Stock Roundup: Copa’s Q3 Earnings Beat, Gol Linhas’ October Traffic & More


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