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S&P 500 Hits Record High Despite Hotter-Than-Expected Inflation; Tech Sector Soars

The S&P 500 reached an all-time high on Tuesday, propelled by a resilient response from U.S. stocks to a surprisingly high inflation report, supported by renewed optimism in the tech sector.

By 4:00 PM ET (20:20 GMT), the S&P 500 surged 1.1% to a record level of 5,173.97. The tech-centric Nasdaq Composite rose by 1.5%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average, comprising blue-chip stocks, saw a 0.6% increase, amounting to a gain of 235 points.

Inflation data revealed a core gauge increase of 0.4%, which excludes volatile elements such as food and fuel. This matched the previous month’s figure and slightly exceeded expectations of 0.3%, driving the year-on-year pace to 3.8% from 3.9%. Although this exceeded projections of 3.7%, it is likely to delay the decision to begin rate cuts until June, as noted by Morgan Stanley.

Despite the prospect of prolonged higher interest rates, bullish sentiment persisted in the tech sector. Oracle experienced a remarkable surge of nearly 12% following its robust quarterly earnings report, buoyed by heightened demand for its AI products. The company also announced an upcoming collaboration with Nvidia, anticipating a surge in demand for cloud infrastructure driven by AI.

Nvidia itself saw a significant increase of over 7%, propelling the broader chip sector upwards by more than 3%. Other major tech players such as Alphabet, Microsoft, and Meta Platforms also experienced notable gains.

In contrast, the industrial sector struggled to keep pace with the broader market, primarily due to declines in airline stocks and a substantial drop of over 4% in Boeing shares. Boeing’s woes intensified following reports of failed audits during Federal Air Aviation examinations, triggered by an incident involving an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max plane.

Southwest Airlines led the decline in airline stocks, plummeting nearly 15% after revising its first-quarter guidance downwards and indicating potential adjustments to its full-year outlook due to delays in Boeing aircraft deliveries. American Airlines Group also suffered a decline of more than 4% amidst concerns over increased fuel costs.

In the cryptocurrency sphere, bitcoin experienced a 3% decline from its previous record high, as investors opted to secure profits amidst the digital asset’s remarkable rally. However, MicroStrategy, a company heavily invested in bitcoin, saw its stock rise by over 7% after receiving an optimistic price target upgrade from Canaccord Genuity. This reflects confidence in MicroStrategy’s proactive approach to bolstering its bitcoin holdings amidst market fluctuations.

VCI Global Expands Worldwide Presence with New Offices and AI R&D Center

VCI Global Limited (NASDAQ: VCIG) is embarking on an exciting phase of expansion, signaling its commitment to global growth and innovation. The company proudly announces plans to establish new offices in New York and London, alongside the inauguration of an AI Research and Development (R&D) Center in Frankfurt. These strategic moves aim to better cater to the needs of its burgeoning clientele and foster ambitious technological ventures.

Heading the New York and London offices is Marco Baccanello, recently appointed as Group Executive Director. With a rich background spanning Silicon Valley and New York, coupled with extensive experience at PwC in both the UK and US, Marco brings invaluable expertise and a robust network of Capital Market relationships to the table. His proficiency in Corporate Finance and Private Equity, particularly in advising rapidly expanding technology firms on financing, growth strategies, and mergers and acquisitions, is set to propel VCI Global forward. Marco’s prior engagements in the mobile games and technology sectors, including collaborations with industry giants such as Adobe, GameStop, and Cox Communications in the US, further underscore his strategic acumen.

Meanwhile, VCI Global’s AI R&D Center in Frankfurt, Germany, will be under the stewardship of Pascal Lauria, the newly appointed Chief AI Officer (CAIO). Pascal boasts over 23 years of experience as a seasoned technology entrepreneur, specializing in AI and machine learning. His tenure as CTO and CEO of Cogia Intelligence, where he spearheaded the delivery of cutting-edge AI solutions to Fortune 500 companies like BMW, Audi, VW, and Lufthansa, underscores his capability to drive innovation. In his new role, Pascal will be tasked with overseeing the company’s portfolio of technology businesses, with the Frankfurt office serving as VCI Global’s European hub.

View full news release at VCI Global.

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