The S&P 500 rebounded ahead of the long weekend, rising 0.7% on Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite closed at a new record, driven by a rally in AI stocks. In contrast, the blue-chip Dow remained subdued, following a more than 600-point drop in the previous day. Investors also assessed fresh data showing new orders for key US-manufactured capital goods rebounded more than expected in April and Michigan consumer sentiment showed lower-than-anticipated consumer inflation expectations. Among stocks, Nvidia hit all-time high of $1064, rising 2.4% following a 9.3% jump in the previous session, adding over $218 billion to its market value. The AI darling blew out with upbeat quarterly results on Wednesday that reinforced investor faith in Big Tech's bet on artificial intelligence. Megacap stocks such as Apple, Alphabet and Meta gained between 0.9% and 2.6%. On the week, the S&P 500 lost 0.3% and the Dow declined 2.3% to snap 5-week win streak while the Nasdaq added 0.7%.

The DAX erased early losses and closed flat at 18,693 on Friday, translating to a sideways movement on the week and only 1% away from last week’s record high as markets continued to assess how the economic backdrop may limit looser policy by the ECB after June. Robust economic activity and stubborn inflation domestically and across the Eurozone, highlighted by PMIs last session, limited the urgency for the ECB to lower borrowing costs. Financials led the gains in the session with Munich RE and Deutsche Bank both adding more than 1%. Also, heavyweight auto manufacturers halted their selloff this week with Mercedes, Volkswagen, and Porsche finishing firmly in the green. On the other hand, SAP and Infineon trimmed yesterday’s surge to drop 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively.

The BSE index closed almost muted at 75,410.4 on Friday, after hitting a fresh record high of 75,618 during the session, as investors rushed to book profits following recent gains. Among individual stocks, HDFC Bank (+1.6%), Bharti Airtel (+1.1%), Larsen & Toubro (+1.1%) and NTPC (+07%) were the top performers, while Tech Mahindra (-1.2%), Asian Paints (-1.2%), ITC (-1.2%), TCS (-1.1%), and Mahindra & Mahindra (-1.2%), posted the biggest losses. For the week, the BSE advanced about 2%, notching its second consecutive weekly gain.

The Nikkei 225 Index fell 1.17% to close at 38,646 while the broader Topix Index lost 0.44% to 2,743 on Friday. Investors digested data showing Japan’s core inflation rate slowed to 2.2% in April from 2.6% in March, in line with expectations. Still, the latest figure remained above the Bank of Japan’s 2% target, keeping the central bank under pressure to tighten policy further. Technology stocks led the decline, with sharp losses from Tokyo Electron (-2.8%), Socionext (-6.2%), Advantest (-4.5%), SoftBank Group (-2.5%) and Lasertec (-4.5%). Other index heavyweights also tumbled, including Toyota Motor (-0.3%), Tokyo Electric Power (-0.8%) and Fast Retailing (-2%). The Nikkei and Topix indexes shed 0.36% and 0.11%, respectively, this week.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 1.08% to close at 7,728. Iron ore, gold and clean energy-related stocks led the decline, with notable losses from Rio Tinto (-0.9%), Fortescue (-0.8%), Newmont Corp (-1.1%), Pilbara Minerals (-1.6%) and Lynas Rare Earths (-3.6%). Nearly all other sectors slumped as well, including financial, technology and consumer stocks. In corporate news, Wesfarmers dropped 3.9% after being downgraded to underweight from equal-weight by Morgan Stanley. The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 1.11% this week, for its first weekly decline in five.

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