Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during opening bell in New York City on August 21, 2023.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images
Stocks climbed Wednesday as Wall Street awaited the latest quarterly figures from Nvidia, the high-flying chipmaker that’s been bolstered by the artificial intelligence craze on Wall Street.
Nvidia is slated to report second-quarter earnings after the bell. Analysts polled by Refinitiv expect the company to report sharp year-over-year spikes in profit and revenue for the second quarter. Nvidia is the best-performing S&P 500 stock of 2023, up more than 200%, as investors cheer the company’s AI-related prospects.
Investors will look to the report for signs on whether the market can resume this year’s move higher, or if the August downturn will be prolonged. Shares rose slightly on Wednesday ahead of the release.
“I think almost nothing matters right now to market direction over the short term outside of these Nvidia earnings because, obviously, the whole narrative with weakening manufacturing and still a somewhat puzzlingly strong consumer doesn’t necessarily jive with market direction at the moment because multiples have expanded,” said Todd Jones, chief investment officer at Gratus Capital.
Although Nvidia is the largest position in the firm’s equity strategy, Jones said he is trimming back on other technology holdings, saying that “the valuation tells you there’s not a lot of room for margin for error.”
“I do think there are people getting a little overexcited about the promise of AI, just like fiber optic in 2000, that has yet to really see some economic impact,” Jones said. “We definitely want to be careful ahead of the Nvidia earnings, but also really any other tech earnings right now.”
NVDA in 2023
Major athletic goods retailers saw their shares drop on Wednesday.
Nike fell for a tenth straight day, its longest slide on record, losing 3%. Foot Locker shares plunged 34% after reporting shrinking sales and lowering its forecast for the second time this year. Those moves come a day after Dick’s Sporting Goods suffered its worst day ever.
Meanwhile, lifestyle apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch shares popped nearly 19% after flying past earnings and sales expectations for the quarter.
Wall Street is coming off a mixed session, with the Dow and S&P 500 falling, while the Nasdaq Composite eked out a small gain. Weakness in retail and bank stocks weighed on the market Tuesday. In a welcome reprieve from hitting a 16-year high on Tuesday, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was down nearly 5 basis points at 4.279% on Wednesday.
Investors also looked ahead to the start of a two-day Federal Reserve symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, beginning Thursday. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is expected to deliver remarks Friday.