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Wall Street looks to finish another week higher, S&P 500 sets sights on 5,000

TOKYO – Wall Street inched higher before the bell Friday, with the S&P 500 above 5,000 which, if it holds, would be the first time that it has closed at such heights.

Futures for the S&P 500 rose close to 0.2% to 5,025.50 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 0.1%.

Corporate earnings continued to be the driving force behind this week’s gains, though there were plenty of losers before markets opened Friday.

PepsiCo dipped 0.5% after beverage and snack company missed sales targets and cut 2024 revenue guidance.

Cloudfare climbed more than 24% after it topped Wall Street’s sales and profit forecast and issued a strong outlook for 2024. Shares jumped to more than $112 in premarket and are up 180% since falling to $40 in May.

Take-Two Interactive, the publisher of “Grand Theft Auto” and other video games, tumbled 7.4% after it just missed sales and profit targets and cut its outlook.

Expedia was another loser early, falling 15.6% in premarket despite beating sales and profit targets. The online travel booker announced that CEO Peter Kern, its top executive since 2020, would be replaced by Ariane Gorin in May.

Digital pinboard and shopping site Pinterest skidded more than 8% after it missed revenue targets and issued first-quarter guidance below analyst expectations.

Elsewhere, trading was mixed in Asia, where many regional markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Tokyo ended Friday up less than 0.1% after touching a 34-year high earlier in the day. It closed at 36,897.42, helped by comments by a Bank of Japan official who said the central bank would likely stick to its lax monetary policy even if it raises its minus 0.1% benchmark rate above zero.

In Europe, both Germany’s DAX and the CAC 40 in Paris were flat at midday, while Britain’s FTSE 100 ticked up 0.1%.

Markets in mainland China were closed and Hong Kong had a half-day session, where the Hang Seng shed 0.8% to 15,746.58. Markets in China will be closed next week.

China’s securities regulator capped a week of measures aimed at shoring up wobbly financial markets by announcing it had punished dozens of people at one of the country’s biggest brokerages for insider trading and other crimes.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added nearly 0.1% to 7,644.80. Thailand’s SET edged 0.2% higher.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 16 cents to $76.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 25 cents to $81.38 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar declined to 149.17 Japanese yen from 149.32 yen. The euro cost $1.0789, up from $1.0780.

Bitcoin rose 4.6%, hitting $47,000 for the first time in nearly two years. Bitcoin’s rally broadly lifted other cryptocurrencies.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 inched up 0.1% and the Dow also set an all-time high, gaining 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.2%.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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