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S&P 500 Hits Record High Near 5,000 Mark as Consumer Stocks Lead Surge

The S&P 500 surged on Wednesday, flirting with the elusive 5,000 milestone and closing at a record high, fueled by bullish sentiment towards stocks. Consumer stocks led the charge, buoyed by impressive earnings from Chipotle and Ford. By 4:00 PM ET (9:00 PM GMT), the S&P 500 had climbed 0.4% to reach 4,995.22, narrowly missing the 5,000 mark. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose by 1%, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced by 0.4%.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) soared 6%, propelling consumer stocks higher, after exceeding analyst estimates with its annual guidance and fourth-quarter performance. Ford forecasted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $10-12 billion for 2024, surpassing analyst projections of $9.6 billion. However, concerns about declining electric vehicle (EV) demand lingered on Wall Street.

Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) achieved its first-ever annual operating profit on a net basis, driven partly by robust holiday demand for its ride-sharing and food delivery services, resulting in marginal gains for its shares.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (NYSE:CMG) surged 7% after reporting quarterly results that surpassed expectations, with a notable 8.1% increase in same-store sales and a 7.4% rise in foot traffic during the quarter.

On the flip side, Snap (NYSE:SNAP) shares plummeted 34% following a disappointing quarterly revenue of $1.36 billion, missing projections of $1.38 billion.

New York Community Bancorp (NYSE:NYCB) declined 1% despite attempts to reassure investors about its financial strength, as concerns persisted after downgrades from JPMorgan and BofA Securities.

Energy stocks remained stagnant as oil prices relinquished some gains due to a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. weekly crude stockpiles. Schlumberger NV (NYSE:SLB), Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), and Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) were among the biggest losers in the energy sector.

Disney Surges, PayPal Falls, Arm Soars: Quarterly Earnings Recap

Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) surged following the release of robust quarterly results, coupled with optimistic full-year guidance. Disney’s decision to raise its dividend and announce an investment in Epic Games further bolstered investor sentiment.

Meanwhile, PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) experienced a decline despite surpassing fourth-quarter expectations. The company’s disclosure that earnings per share would not see a year-over-year increase in 2024 dampened market enthusiasm.

Arm Holdings (NASDAQ:ARM) saw a remarkable 23% increase in its ADRs after exceeding consensus estimates with its third-quarter results and providing upbeat guidance.

Conversely, Axcelis Technologies (NASDAQ:ACLS) witnessed a 10% decline as its forecast indicated that full-year 2024 revenue would resemble that of 2023, with revenue heavily weighted towards the latter half of the year.

Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) enjoyed a 3.7% uptick following the release of fourth-quarter results that surpassed market expectations.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) faced a decline subsequent to reporting FY24 EPS guidance that fell short of estimates.

O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY) shares dipped after its 2024 earnings per share forecast failed to align with consensus projections.

Lastly, Confluent, Inc. (CFLT) experienced a notable 15% increase in its stock price after delivering strong fourth-quarter results and issuing guidance that impressed investors.

JELD-WEN Revamps Senior Leadership Team to Drive Operational Excellence and Customer Value

JELD-WEN (NYSE:JELD) Holding, Inc. (NYSE: JELD), a leading manufacturer of building products, announced today the restructuring of its senior leadership team with the appointment of three new executive vice presidents. This strategic move is aimed at bolstering operational efficiency, enhancing customer engagement, and maximizing shareholder value.

Gustavo Vianna has been appointed as executive vice president and president of JELD-WEN Europe. With over 30 years of experience in multinational companies, Vianna specializes in operational and commercial transformations. He previously served as CEO of Aliaxis EMEA, overseeing a significant workforce and multiple facilities across Europe. Vianna succeeds Nigel Dilks, who will be departing after a transition period to pursue new opportunities.

Dan Valenti assumes the role of executive vice president for North America Doors & Distribution. Valenti brings more than 20 years of experience in general management, sales, and operations, with his most recent position being SVP and general manager for KitchenAid Small Appliances at Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR).

Matt Meier joins as executive vice president and Chief Digital and Information Officer, leveraging his 25-year career in steering digital technology transformations at various multinational companies. Meier’s previous role was at Driven Brand Holdings, Inc., where he led digital, data, and technology strategies for 14 brands.

JELD-WEN also highlighted the continued contributions of Dan Jacobs, vice president and general manager, North America windows, and Peggie Bolan, vice president and general manager, North America building products and fiber, who bring extensive experience within the company.

CEO William J. Christensen expressed confidence in the renewed leadership team’s collective experience, emphasizing their role in strengthening the company’s foundation and delivering increased value for customers, associates, and shareholders. JELD-WEN will maintain its regional operational structure and separate financial reporting for Europe and North America.

Investing is like navigating a culinary adventure in a world-class buffet. You’ve got your savory stocks, your sweet bonds, and the occasional spicy options that make your portfolio pop. But just like deciding between sushi or steak, it’s essential to choose investments that suit your taste and appetite for risk. So, whether you’re a seasoned gourmet or a novice nibbler, remember to diversify your plate, savor the long-term flavors, and always leave room for dessert… or, you know, dividends.