Dow Jones reaches 40,000 for first time on US rate cut hopes

Record high another indicator of robust US economy

The Dow crossed the 40,000 milestone on Thursday as data showed US inflation eased slightly in April. AFP
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday climbed above 40,000 for the first time as recent inflation data boosted hopes that US interest rates will go down this year.

It reached a high of 40,048 on Thursday morning before closing at 39,869.83.

The stock market index came close to 40,000 earlier this year before slightly climbing down over fears of rate cut delays.

Sparking the latest Wall Street charge was a recent reprieve in the US’s stubbornly elevated inflation rate.

The Labour Department on Wednesday reported headline and core inflation climbed down to 3.4 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively, in April.

Markets took Wednesday's report to mean inflation has resumed its downward path, opening the door for the Federal Reserve to cut US rates this year.

Markets anticipate the Fed will begin lowering its target range by a quarter of a point in September, CME Group data showed.

“The Dow 40,000 milestone also shows how resilient the US economy has been, at a time where there was a plethora of calls for a recession,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B Riley Wealth.

“The overarching importance of crossing these big round numbers is that it brings Wall Street news to Main Street, at least for a day.

"It also serves as an affirmation that corporate earnings are growing and that investor confidence remains robust.”

The S&P 500 rose 5.43 points after hitting 5,300 for the first time on Wednesday.

The Nasdaq Composite also closed slightly lower on Thursday after reaching an all-time high of 16,797.

Updated: May 17, 2024, 6:35 AM