Stocks open higher, crypto rallies as quarter-end nears: stock market news today

Shares rose early Wednesday as investors eye the end of an eventful first quarter that saw a banking crisis erupt, a crypto winter show signs of thawing and last year’s stock market performance tentatively reversed.

At the opening bell, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) was up 0.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) was up 0.7%. Tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) led gains, up 1.2% at the open.

With the first quarter due to end on Friday, the Nasdaq is on gains of nearly 12%, the S&P 500 is up more than 3% so far this year, and the Dow is lagging, falling 2.2% in 2023.

This relative performance is a reversal from what was seen over the past year, when the Nasdaq fell nearly 30%, the S&P 500 fell over 18%, and the Dow fell a more modest 9%.

Crude oil prices were also higher early Wednesday, rising 1.2% to nearly $74 a barrel.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) was also significantly higher, surging more than 5% to trade north of $28,000. So far this year, Bitcoin is up more than 70%.

Wednesday’s move higher comes amid a slightly slower corporate and economic news calendar, with last night’s gains from Micron Technology (MU) and Lululemon (LULU) serving as the key highlights early in the trading session.

Micron shares were up more than 4% early Wednesday after the chip giant hinted last night that the struggling chip business could be turning a corner, with CEO Sanjay Mehrotra telling investors, “We’re close to one.” Transitioning to sequential revenue growth in our quarterly results.”

Micron on Tuesday reported revenue for the fiscal second quarter down about 10% sequentially and more than 50% from the same period last year.

Noting the potential positive impact that recent investor enthusiasm for AI advances could have on the industry, Mehrotra told investors, “Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) provide an exciting prelude to the Transformation capabilities of large language models or LLMs, such as ChatGPT, which require significant amounts of memory and storage to operate. We are only in the very early stages of widespread adoption of these AI technologies and potential exponential growth in their commercial use cases.”

Lululemon shares rose as much as 12% on Wednesday after sales and earnings numbers beat estimates, with fourth-quarter revenue rising 30% while comparable store sales rose 27%.

A Lululemon sign is seen at a mall in San Diego, California, the United States, November 23, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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