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Stocks finish higher on Walmart earnings beat, AI optimism

AFP . New York
20 May 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 19 May 2023 22:55:30
Stocks finish higher on Walmart earnings beat, AI optimism

All three major US stock-market indexes closed higher Thursday following better-than-expected earnings results for Walmart and optimism over the future profitability of artificial intelligence (AI).

“Everybody’s really excited about the potential for artificial intelligence and what that could mean for productivity,” Tom Cahill from Ventura Wealth Management told AFP on the day ChatGPT announced an app-based version of its popular AI assistant.

“And so I think that’s, to a large extent, that’s what’s driving the technology stocks higher,” he added. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index ended the day up more than 1.5 per cent at 12,688.84.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.9 per cent to 4,198.05, while The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.3 per cent to 33,535.91. Walmart stock finished the day up more than 1.3 per cent on the back of revenues that beat estimates and improved annual guidance.

There was optimism Thursday around the state of talks to lift US borrowing limits and stave off a catastrophic debt default, with Republican House speaker Kevin McCarthy suggesting a vote on the issue could be possible as early as next week.