U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday, after hitting new highs in the previous session, as investors cheered the outlook for the chipmaker arm and looked for fresh impetus in the latest batch of company results.
The S&P 500 (^GSPC) hovered around the flatline, hitting 5,000 for the first time after the key benchmark closed up a few points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) fell 0.2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 0.3%.
Strong economic data and upbeat earnings boosted sentiment on Wall Street, helping the S&P 500 close at key psychological levels. But some investors question whether the gains can be sustained as they operate a concentrated group of megacaps.
Arm (ARM) shares surged more than 50% after a strong sales outlook, boosting hopes that AI and technology will boost the market. The chipmaker gave a surprisingly bullish forecast based on its expansion into new areas. Shares of Disney ( DIS ) rose more than 11% as investors welcomed deals with Taylor Swift and Fortnite maker Epic Games.
Meanwhile, traders have pulled back in races for a March interest rate cut due to warnings from central bank officials. Richmond Fed President Tom Parkin is set to add to his comments on Thursday, while the weekly jobless claims report could move the needle on policy expectations for December's blockbuster jobs report.
read more: What the Fed's Rate Decision Means for Bank Accounts, CDs, Loans and Credit Cards
Concerns about deflation in China echoed elsewhere, as data showed consumer prices in the world's second-largest economy fell by the most since 2009 amid the global financial crisis.
And worse, Danish shipping giant Maersk's ( AMKBY ) warning of a freight slowdown rattled investors. Its shares fell 15% after the company said it would suspend share buybacks.