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Wall Street’s After-Hours Tango: Futures Flicker and Nvidia Shines

U.S. stock index futures nudged upward in the evening trading session on Wednesday, building on a wave of optimism driven by rate-cut speculations and a spectacular surge in Nvidia, which propelled Wall Street to new heights.

Labor Pains and Rate Cut Gains

A string of underwhelming labor market reports sparked hopes that the Federal Reserve might slash rates by September. However, futures gains were tempered by the market’s cautious wait for more economic data to drop in the coming days.

S&P 500 Futures inched up 0.1% to 5,370.75 points.
Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 0.1% to 19,098.50 points by 19:13 ET (23:13 GMT).
Dow Jones Futures held steady at 38,897.0 points.
Nvidia’s Electrifying Rally

The tech darling NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ) soared to a record high in after-hours trading, jumping 1.1% to $1,237.40. Nvidia’s ascent on Wednesday saw its market cap eclipse $3 trillion, surpassing Apple Inc (NASDAQ) to become Wall Street’s second-largest company. The frenzy was fueled by Nvidia’s latest AI chip announcements and the upcoming Apple developer conference, where more AI advancements are anticipated.

Wall Street Hits New Heights

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed at record highs, driven largely by Nvidia’s stellar performance.

S&P 500 surged 1.2% to 5,354.03 points.
Nasdaq rocketed nearly 2% to 17,186.38 points.
Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3% to 38,807.33 points, still trailing its May peaks.
Rate Cut Hopes and Market Jitters

Weak ADP private payroll data, following a lackluster job openings report, stoked expectations that a cooling labor market could pave the way for lower inflation and rate cuts. Traders are now betting on a 25-basis-point rate cut by the Fed in September. This sentiment was bolstered by the Bank of Canada’s rate cut and anticipated easing from the European Central Bank.

Eyes are now fixed on upcoming labor market data, with Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report expected to provide clearer insights. The Federal Reserve’s meeting next week is also on the radar, with the consensus being that rates will remain steady.

After-Hours Action: Winners and Losers

Lululemon Athletica Inc (NASDAQ) leapt 10% after smashing quarterly earnings expectations and upping its annual guidance.
Five Below Inc (NASDAQ) took a tumble, sliding 17% on a dismal full-year earnings forecast.
Stay tuned as the market continues its dance, swayed by economic signals and corporate drama

Costco Crushes It: May Sales Soar Past Expectations

Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ) delighted investors with a 6.5% rise in same-store sales for May, excluding gas and foreign exchange impacts. This impressive figure outpaced the 6.0% consensus estimate and built on April’s 5.5% growth.
Net sales also saw a hefty boost, climbing to $19.64 billion—an 8.1% jump from last year’s $18.16 billion.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE) analysts are still singing Costco’s praises with a ‘Buy’ rating and a 12-month price target of $851. Stifel analysts chimed in with a similar tune, setting their target at $850, crediting Costco’s annuity-like membership income and top-tier comparable growth.

But not all is smooth sailing in the warehouse aisles. Analysts noted potential pitfalls, including fierce competition from Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ) and other online giants, a shaky macroeconomic landscape, rising rivalry in the warehouse club sector, potential dips in renewal rates, and pesky foreign exchange woes.

Investing on a Thursday is like being the middle child of the trading week. You’ve survived Monday’s madness and Tuesday’s tumult, coasted through Wednesday’s humdrum, and now you’re stuck between playing it safe and rolling the dice before the weekend vibes set in. It’s a day where the market whispers, “Are you sure about that?” while the economic calendar taunts with its cryptic clues. You might find yourself pondering if it’s the perfect moment for a bold move or if Friday’s inevitable surprises will make you wish you’d stuck to your coffee and spreadsheets. So, buckle up, because in the financial jungle, Thursday is when the plot thickens!