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S&P 500 in fresh record high after scaling 5,600 mark for first time

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on– The S&P 500 rose above 5,600 for the first time Wednesday, led by tech and ongoing hopes for sooner rate as Fed Chair Jerome Powell delivered his second-day of testimony before Congress, a day ahead of fresh inflation data. 

At 13:56 ET (17:56 GMT), the gained 0.70% to a record high of 5,617.6 and rose 0.9%. The traded 189 points, or 0.5%, higher,

Tech continues to rein supreme as Apple (NASDAQ:) rises to become reclaim throne as most valuable company 

Tech continue to support the broader market’s record run, aided by a rise in Nvidia and Apple, with the latter rising 1% to surpass Microsoft as the most valuable company, amid fresh investor optimism over its iPhone sales.

Apple is aiming to ship 10% more new iPhone in 2024 compared with last year on expectations that AI-enabled iPhones would help spur demand, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:) was up nearly 1% as the software giant is reportedly set to relinquish its observer seat on the OpenAI board amid increasing regulatory scrutiny over generative AI in Europe and the U.S..

Keith Dolliver, Microsoft’s Deputy General Counsel, wrote to OpenAI on Tuesday, stating that while the observer seat provided valuable insights into the board’s activities without compromising its independence, it was no longer necessary, given that Microsoft had “witnessed significant progress from the newly formed board.”

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:), meanwhile, added more than 2% pushing the broader chip and tech sector higher. 

Powell sees path to soft landing 

Federal Reserve Chair said Wednesday he continues to see a soft landing for the U.S. economy even as the central bank’s persists with its restrictive monetary policy measures to bring down inflation. 

The Fed chief, however, reiterated remarks from a day earlier, saying that “getting inflation down” wasn’t the only risk and central bank needs to “be mindful of where the labor market is.”

The Fed Chair’s comments saw traders largely maintain bets on a September rate cut, with showing an over 72% chance for a 25 basis point cut during the month. 

Powell’s comments also put upcoming inflation data, due Thursday, squarely in focus. 

Energy stocks inch higher as oil price ride falling crude inventories higher  

Energy stocks traded higher, shrugging the recent softer sentiment in the wake Exxon (NYSE:) and BP (NYSE:) warning of lower refining profits, as oil prices were boosted by data showing weekly and gasoline inventories fell more than expected. 

Data from the , released Wednesday, showed that U.S. oil inventories unexpectedly fell by 3.4 million barrels last week, compared with expectations for a build of 700,000 barrels.

Baker Hughes Co (NASDAQ:), Chevron Corp (NYSE:) and Phillips 66 (NYSE:) were the biggest gainers in the energy sector on the day. 

(Peter Nurse, Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

Stock Markets

Hamas says it has not left ceasefire talks after Israeli attacks

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By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan Lubell

CAIRO/JERUSALEM (Reuters) -A senior Hamas official said on Sunday that the Islamist group has not withdrawn from ceasefire talks with Israel after this weekend’s deadly attacks in Gaza that Israel said had targeted the group’s military leader Mohammed Deif.

But Izzat El-Reshiq, a member of the political office of Hamas, accused Israel of trying to derail efforts by Arab mediators and the United States to reach a ceasefire deal by stepping up its attacks in the enclave.

Saturday’s strike in the Khan Younis area of Gaza, in which at least 90 Palestinians were killed, according to local health authorities, has put the ceasefire talks in doubt.

There had been increasingly hopeful signs in recent days that a deal could be reached to halt fighting and return hostages held in Gaza.

Two Egyptian security sources at ceasefire talks in Doha and Cairo said on Saturday that negotiations had been halted after three days of intense talks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to convene his close circle of ministers later on Sunday to discuss the talks.

The strike on Saturday which targeted Deif killed Rafa Salama, commander of Hamas’ Khan Younis brigade, the Israeli military said on Sunday, but there was no confirmation about the fate of Deif.

“The strike in Khan Younis was a result of surgical intelligence,” the head of the Shin Bet domestic security service said in a video released by the service from Rafah. He said 25 Hamas operatives who took part in the deadly Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel that triggered the war had been killed in the past week.

On Saturday, a senior Hamas official denied that Deif had been killed and the group said Israeli claims were aimed at justifying the attack.

Israel’s military chief said on Sunday in a televised statement that Hamas was concealing the truth about Deif’s fate, but stopped short of confirming whether he was alive or dead.

Israeli forces pressed ahead on Sunday with aerial and ground shelling of several areas across the Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million people, most of whom have been displaced by the war.

A strike on a UN-run school in Nuseirat camp, one of Gaza’s eight longstanding refugee camps, killed 15 Palestinians and wounded dozens more, Hamas media and health officials said.

The Israeli military said the site was used as a base for Hamas fighters to attack Israeli forces and said numerous steps were taken to limit the risk of harming civilians, including the use of precise munitions and intelligence.

Residents said two missiles targeted the upper floor of the school, not far from the camp’s local market, usually busy with shoppers, where displaced families have also taken shelter nearby.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli airstrikes on four houses in Gaza City killed at least 16 Palestinians and wounded dozens of others, medics said.

The Gaza health ministry said at least 38,584 Palestinians have been killed and 88,881 others injured in Israel’s military offensive since Oct. 7.

It added that 141 Palestinians were killed by Israeli military strikes across the Gaza Strip in the past day, the biggest one-day death toll in many weeks.

Gaza’s health ministry does not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants but officials say most of the dead throughout the war have been civilians.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Palestinians gather near damage, following what Palestinians say was an Israeli strike at a tent camp in Al-Mawasi area, amid Israel-Hamas conflict, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 13, 2024. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem/File Photo

Israel says it has lost 326 soldiers in Gaza and says at least a third of the Palestinian fatalities are fighters.

The war began after a Hamas-led attack inside Israel on Oct. 7, that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and saw around 250 taken hostage to Gaza, according to Israeli authorities.

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Stock Markets

Trump rally shooting victim died shielding family from bullets

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(Reuters) -The person shot and killed at former President Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday was a 50-year-old volunteer firefighter who shielded his family to protect them as gunshots rang out, the state’s Governor Josh Shapiro said on Sunday.

The victim was identified as Corey Comperatore, according to his family’s posting on Facebook (NASDAQ:).

“The PA Trump Rally claimed the life of my brother, Corey Comperatore. The hatred for one man took the life of the one man we loved the most,” the victim’s sister said in the post on Sunday.

Comperatore previously served as the chief of the Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Department, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Shapiro said he had spoken to Comperatore’s family and he relayed parts of the conversation to reporters.

“Corey died a hero. Corey dove on his family to protect them last night at this rally,” Shapiro said. “Corey was the very best of us.”

Comperatore was survived by a wife and two daughters. “Corey was a girl dad,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro added: “Corey was a firefighter. Corey went to church every Sunday. Corey loved his community and most especially Corey loves his family.”

Shapiro described the victim “as an avid supporter of the former president.”

© Reuters. A satellite image around Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump's rally location in Butler, Pennsylvania, U.S.  June 2, 2023.  Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

Trump had just begun his speech at the Pennsylvania rally when the sound of shots rang out and it became apparent that Trump was also injured when a bullet grazed his right ear.

The FBI has identified 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, as the suspect in what the government is calling an assassination attempt on Trump.

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Stock Markets

Google parent close to $23 billion deal to buy cybersecurity startup Wiz, WSJ reports

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(Reuters) – Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) is in advanced talks to acquire cybersecurity startup Wiz for roughly $23 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

A deal could come together soon, assuming the talks don’t fall apart, the report added.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Small figurines are seen in front of displayed Alphabet logo in this illustration taken February 11, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration/File Photo

Google and Wiz did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.

The U.S.-Israeli startup raised $1 billion in a private funding round in May, which values the four-year-old cloud cybersecurity company at $12 billion.

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