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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock exchange during morning trading on May 17, 2024.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

The S&P 500 slipped on Friday, as investors took profits on Nvidia and this week’s market breather continued despite the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure coming in largely around expectations.

The broad S&P 500 lost 0.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1.6% as Nvidia and other megacap technology stocks took a hit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded higher by 62 points, or 0.2%, buoyed by UnitedHealth‘s advance of more than 2%.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were each on pace to snap five-week win streaks with slides of 2.1% and 2.7%, respectively. The blue-chip Dow slipped 2.4%, heading for a second straight week of losses.

Despite those moves, it is shaping up to be a winning May, with each of the major benchmarks set to register a sixth positive month in seven. The Dow is up 0.9% this month, while the S&P 500 is up by 3.2%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has gained 5.2%.

“The market is going to remain choppy,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial, citing variables such as the upcoming election, Treasury yields and consumer spending. “There are questions as to: Where are we headed? Where’s the economy headed?”

A chunk of May’s strength can be attributed to a surge in Nvidia, which released blockbuster earnings last week. Though the artificial intelligence darling’s stock fell more than 2% on Friday, shares are poised to end the month more than 24% higher. Tesla, Microsoft, Meta and Netflix also all shed more than 2% on Friday, weighing down the broader market.

Closely followed economic data released Friday morning came mostly in line with forecasts. The core personal consumption expenditures price index increased 0.2% in April, the same figure that was anticipated by economists polled by Dow Jones. Core PCE rose 2.8% on an annualized basis, slightly above the 2.7% prediction from economists.

“This week’s most important economic data came and went without deviating much from expectations,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, adding that the market breathed a “sigh of relief” after the report.

Traders also reacted to the latest corporate earnings results. Dell Technologies tumbled 22% even after its first-quarter results beat expectations. Cloud security stock Zscaler popped 4.5%, while developer data platform MongoDB plunged almost 25%. Apparel retailer Gap jumped more than 27%.



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