This February 29, a 'rare' date in the stock market calendar, could remain a historic one, for in addition to fairly banal 'monthly highs' and absolute records piling up (for the S&P500 and Nasdaq-100), this Thursday is marked by a much more remarkable record, that of the Nasdaq Composite with a gain of 0.9% to 16.091, surpassing the previous closing record of November 19, 2021 at 16,057.

The Nasdaq-100 (+0.95%) closed at 18,043 and the S&P500 (+0.52%) at 5,096, in the wake of semiconductors (the 'Soxx' jumped +2.8% to 653, an all-time record, one more, bringing the total to 11 this year). The locomotives of the day were AMD +9.1%, Western Digital +3.5%, On semiconductors +3.2%, Intel +2.5%, Nvidia +1.9%.

The Dow Jones (+0.12% to 38,996) - poor in "technos" - missed the 39,000 mark by 0.01%, after peaking at 39,078: it was 0.35% short of the record closing level (set on February 23 at 39,131).

Wall Street was 'full risk on', as evidenced by the VIX stuck at 13.50 and the decline in defensive stocks (healthcare sector) with Moderna -5.4%, Incyte -2.7%, Regeneron -2.2% Biogen -2%, Pfizer -1.8%, Vertex Pharma -1.5%.

There were still a few emblematic quarterly reports on February 29, such as those of Dell, which exploded by +18% after the close on better-than-expected sales and profits. Netapp jumped +15% to set a new all-time record thanks to above-consensus earnings (and good "margins").

The session was punctuated by the PCE price inflation index, which came out in line with expectations at +2.4% annualized in January, down 0.2 points on December. Excluding food and energy, it fell from +2.9% to +2.8% month-on-month.

Again according to the Commerce Department, consumer spending in the US rose by 0.2% last month compared with December, with income up 1% month-on-month.

The Labor Department reported +13,000 new jobless claims in the US last week, to 215.000, but the four-week moving average - more representative of the underlying trend - fell by 3,000 to 212,500.

T-Bonds improved slightly (-3 basis points to 4.246%): according to the 'FedWatch' barometer, the market now rules out any reduction in the cost of money in March and May, but the scenario of a rate cut in June is considered credible by 51% of traders.

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