A renewed rally in tech titans extended the S&P 500's year-to-date gain to nearly 10% ahead of Friday's jobs report, amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will pause interest-rate hikes in June.
The cohort is back in full force after a brief respite in the colossal advance of big tech fueled by the artificial-intelligence frenzy. Nvidia Corp. rose about 5%, outperforming the Nasdaq 100. Aside from the AI obsession that drove megacaps up 17% in May, the industry received a boost from a drop in bond yields and better-than-expected sales at Dell Technologies.
The S&P 500 gained 1% on Thursday, reclaiming the 4,200 level. A Bank of America Corp. contrarian indicator that tracks Wall Street strategists' average recommended stock allocation is the closest it has been to a "buy" signal in over six years.
Aside from the AI theme, traders were also preparing for the monthly jobs report on Friday, with forecasters predicting a slowing in hiring that could allow the Fed to pause its tightening policy in June.
"We should at least skip this meeting in terms of an increase," said Fed Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker. In an essay published Thursday, his St. Louis counterpart, James Bullard, stated that interest rates are likely to be at the low end of what is likely to be sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation down.