As investors look toward the end of a busy month and a first quarter marked by tenacity in the face of a financial crisis and impending concerns about the state of the global economy, stocks were up near midday on Wednesday.
The S&P 500 (GSPC), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) were all in the green as of 12:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
The Nasdaq is sitting on gains close to 12%, the S&P 500 is up more than 3% so far this year, and the Dow is trailing, dropping 2.2% in 2023. The first quarter is scheduled to end on Friday.
In contrast to last year, when the Nasdaq plunged by almost 30%, the S&P 500 dropped by more than 18%, and the Dow dropped by a less dramatic 9%, this year’s relative performance has improved.
On Wednesday, the price of crude oil fluctuated, trading near $73 after having traded above $74 earlier in the morning. The yield on the 10-year note was close to 3.55%.
The uptrend on Wednesday coincides with a relatively lighter schedule of business and economic news, with Micron Technology (MU) and Lululemon (LULU) earnings from last night serving as the major headlines early in the trading session.
Micron’s CEO, Sanjay Mehrotra, told investors that “we are near to a transition to sequential revenue growth in our quarterly results,” which led to a more than 6% increase in shares of the chip giant early on Wednesday.
Additionally, Mehrotra emphasized the potential benefits that the current investor enthusiasm for AI developments could have on the sector, telling investors: “Large language models, or LLMs, like ChatGPT, which require a lot of memory and storage to operate, offer an exhilarating prelude to the transformational capabilities of recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI). The widespread use of these AI technologies and the potential exponential development in their commercial use cases are just beginning.”