The rally in tech megacaps gained traction, with the Nasdaq 100 posting its best-ever first-half performance and Apple surpassing the $3 trillion mark.
Stock traders chose to see the glass as half full after data indicated that inflation is slowing at the expense of economic growth. Equities extended their gains from the previous year, with technology consolidating its leadership amid the rise of artificial intelligence. At the end of a quarter marked by fear of missing out, traders continued to adjust their positions.
Since the start of the year, nearly $5 trillion has been added to the value of companies in the Nasdaq 100, with the tech-heavy index defying bubble warnings and rising nearly 40%. The increase in the S&P 500's most influential group contributed to the index rising 16% in 2023. Gains have been even more pronounced when limited to the megacap space, which has risen by approximately 75%.
The Nasdaq 100 gained more than 1.5% on Friday, while the S&P 500 reached its highest level since April 2022. Nvidia, which has nearly tripled this year as a result of the AI frenzy, was up about 3.5%. The so-called VIX, Wall Street's favourite volatility gauge, has extended this year's decline to hover near 13.