Stock Market Today: Live Updates

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on May 17, 2024.

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The S&P 500 rose to a new record on Tuesday as investors digested a key statement from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The broad market index rose 0.2% to a record high. Nasdaq Composite also reached a record and was last up 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell behind and lost 50 points, or 0.1%.

Powell said in his prepared statement that keeping interest rates high for too long could further jeopardize economic growth, suggesting the central bank is considering a less restrictive policy.

“Taking policy measures too late or too little could unnecessarily weaken economic activity and employment,” Powell said as part of his semi-annual update on monetary policy. “More good data would increase our confidence that inflation is moving toward 2 percent on a sustained basis.”

Powell will continue his testimony before Congress this week on Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee. His remarks come ahead of key inflation data releases later this week, with the June consumer price index on Thursday and the producer price index on Friday.

“The labor market has weakened and Powell is starting to pay attention,” said David Russell, global head of market strategy at TradeStation. “He recognizes that policy is restrictive and progress has been made on inflation. This potentially sets the stage for a ‘Powell put’ later in the year..”

Nvidia shares rose 4% after KeyBanc raised its price target on the chipmaker to $180, implying a 40% upside from Monday’s close. The VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH) gained 1%. Tech companies Apple and Google parent company Alphabet trading slightly higher.

A lack of market breadth, however, held back the S&P 500’s gains. Shares of McDonald’s and Microsoft fell 1% and 2%, respectively, holding back the Dow.

“The S&P 500 has been driven by a narrow band of tech leaders riding AI tailwinds, while the rest of the market has lagged significantly,” said Deiya Pernas, co-founder of Pernas Research, of the S&P 500’s new all-time high. “Given the exuberance around AI, we expect this trend to continue in the near to medium term.”

CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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