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Nasdaq leads Wall St higher as Microsoft hits record high


The Nasdaq led gains among the major US stock indexes on Monday, with Microsoft surging on news that former OpenAI chief Sam Altman will join the software behemoth, while investors awaited additional hints on when the Federal Reserve might begin cutting interest rates.

Microsoft’s stock rose 1.4% to a record high after CEO Satya Nadella announced Altman will join the business to manage a new advanced AI research division.

The sub-index of information technology. SPLRCT housing was among the top sector gainers, gaining 0.7%.

Other megacap stocks were mixed, with Amazon.com rising 0.7% and Alphabet falling 0.4%.

The three major US market indexes have mounted a spectacular comeback in November, registering gains for the third week in a row on Friday as indications of lowering US inflation bolstered predictions that the Fed has reached its limit for rising interest rates.

The benchmark S&P 500.SPX is now only around 2% away from its all-time high, set in July.

“We had a very quick move on the idea that they (the Fed) were going to cut interest rates,” said Ken Polcari, managing partner at Kace Capital Advisors.

According to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool, traders have virtually fully priced in the possibility that the Fed would leave interest rates constant in December and have begun pricing in rate cuts as early as March.

This week, a number of events will set the tone for equities, with weak trading volumes ahead of the Thanksgiving break likely influencing market movements.

Nvidia NVDA.O is set to announce quarterly results on Tuesday, bringing the “Magnificent Seven” group of megacap corporations’ third-quarter earnings season to a close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened at 9:43 a.m. ET.S&P 500 was up 39.98 points, or 0.11%, at 34,987.26.The S&P 500 gained 9.06 points, or 0.20%, to 4,523.08, while the Nasdaq Composite.IXIC gained 66.94 points, or 0.47%, to 14,192.42.

Bristol-Myers Squibb slumped 2.2% as Germany’s Bayer suspended a late-stage trial evaluating a novel anti-clotting medicine on Sunday, undermining investor confidence in all companies developing similar therapies.

United Rentals fell 3.0% on a dismal profit forecast from Britain’s Ashtead Group.