May 30, 2024

Stocks are set to close the week higher on Friday, with the Dow potentially extending its winning streak to eight consecutive days. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also rising in the morning.

The market has experienced a surge in positive sentiment following the release of a weak job report, raising investors’ hopes that the Federal Reserve may reduce interest rates later this year. Among other central banks, the Swedish Riksbank has already lowered interest rates and is expected to do so again later this year, and the Bank of England has also hinted at an impending rate cut.

Investors will be watching April inflation figures and earnings reports from Home Depot, Alibaba, and Walmart next week.

In mid-morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.18%, or 71 points, to 39,459. The Nasdaq was flat, and the S&P 500 rose 0.08%.

Novavax stock surges 126%

Novavax witnessed a staggering 126% surge in its stock price during mid-morning action. The vaccine-maker announced a $1.2 billion licensing partnership with French pharmaceutical company Sanofi on Friday, giving its stock a much-needed boost.

The agreement includes a $500 million up-front payment, and as much as $700 million in development, regulatory, and launch milestones. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will begin to book sales of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine starting in 2025, and will help fund some of its research and development, regulatory, and commercial costs. Novavax will also receive double-digit percentage royalty payments on sales of its COVID-19 vaccines and its forthcoming combination COVID-19-influenza jabs.

Alphabet stock slips as competition with OpenAI rises

The stock of Google’s parent company Alphabet saw a decline, which could be attributed to the rising competition it’s facing from OpenAI. OpenAI is reportedly planning to announce an artificial intelligence-powered Google Search competitor as early as Monday — a product that could threaten Google’s search engine dominance.

The timing of the announcement could change, Reuters reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. However, the plan for Monday comes a day before Google kicks off its annual I/O conference, where it’s expected to announce its own AI-powered products.

Following the news, Alphabet Class A and Alphabet Class C stock both declined by 1.3% and 1.2%, respectively, in the mid-morning.

Akamai stock is the worst performer

Akamai Technologies was the worst-performing stock on the S&P 500 as it dropped more than 9% in the mid-morning action. In its latest earnings report, the cloud company announced a revenue increase of 7.8% to $986.97 million and earnings per share of $1.64, compared to $1.40 in the same quarter last year.

Despite reporting strong financials, Akamai projected a weak outlook for the upcoming quarter. Its revenue for the June quarter is expected to fall between $967 million to $986 million — below the market consensus of $1 billion. For the full year, the company anticipates revenue to be between $3.95 billion and $4.02 billion, which is also below the average analyst estimate of $4.08 billion.

-Rocio Fabbro and Britney Nguyen contributed to this article

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