Well, it's done: for the past 3 years, the tradition of having an index high coincide - if possible - with the end of the calendar month has been respected.
This February 29, which is a "rare" date in the stock market calendar, could well remain a historic one, for in addition to some fairly banal "monthly highs", and absolute records that are piling up (for the S&P500 and the Nasdaq-100, driven by semiconductors and notably AMD's +9%), 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 by 0.25% the previous closing record set on November 19, 2021 at 16,057Pts (2 years and 3 months ago).

The Nasdaq-100 (+0.95%) closed at 18,045, the S&P500 (+0.52%) at 5.096, in the wake of semiconductors (the 'Soxx' jumped +2.8% to 653Pt, an all-time record, one more, bringing the total to 11 this year, a new high every 4 sessions since January 1).
The locomotives of the day were : AMD +9.1%, Western Digital +3.5%, On semiconductors +3.2%, Intel +2.5%, Nvidia +1.9% at $791 (best closing in history, in an 'average' volume of $33bn, i.e. 12 sessions on the CAC40).

The Dow Jones -poor in 'technos'- misses the 'round' 39,000 threshold by 0.01% after peaking at 39.078: it fell short by 0.35% of its closing record (set on February 23 at 39,131Pts).
Wall Street was 'full risk on', as evidenced by the 'VIX' stuck at 13.50 and the downturn 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 quarterlies on February 29, such as Dell, which exploded +18% (to $111.5) after the close on the announcement of better-than-expected sales and profits.

Soundhound, one of the AI unicorns, plunged -10% as its sales grew "only" by +80% over 1 year (the market was expecting +100%).
Netapp jumped +15% to $103 to set a new all-time record thanks to above-consensus earnings (and good "margins").

The session was punctuated by the most eagerly awaited US figures of the week, and indeed of the past 10 days: the Commerce Department unveiled a PCE price inflation index at +2.4% annualized in January, down 0.2 points on December 2023, in line with Jefferies' forecast.

Excluding food and energy, two usually volatile categories, the underlying index fell from +2.9% to +2.8% month-on-month, again in line with the broker's expectations.

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

The Labor Department reported +13,000 new US jobless claims for the week of February 19, to 215,000.
The four-week moving average - more representative of the underlying trend - came in at 212,500 for the same week, down by 3,000 on the previous week's revised average.

T-Bonds improved slightly (-3Pts to 4.2460%): 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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