AI fervor takes over Wall Street

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This report is from today’s CNBC Daily Open, our international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

What you need to know today 

Nikkei extends rally
Nikkei 225 hit a fresh high Monday as trading resumed after a long weekend, while China markets were set to snap a nine-day winning run. The broader Topix also gained. Wall Street hit another record on Friday as markets wrapped the week on a positive note with help from Nvidia’s bumper earnings. The S&P 500 gained 0.03% hitting fresh highs, while the Dow also closed at an all-time high. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.28% but touched a fresh 52-week high in the session.

Xiaomi’s big EV bet
Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi is betting big on its new electric vehicle. The firm is putting a premium price on its first electric car, targeting around 20 million users, Group President Weibing Lu told CNBC. There are, however, doubts over Xiaomi’s ability to sell the car, given its reputation as a maker of lower-priced products. 

South Korea market measures
South Korea’s financial regulatory body unveiled new measures to improve corporate governance on Monday. The move by the FSC underlined steps authorities were taking to boost valuations of stock markets in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

Berkshire Hathaway earnings jump
Berkshire Hathaway operating earnings surged 28% in the fourth quarter, while its cash pile soared to record levels. For the full year, operating earnings rose to $37.35 billion, up 17% from $30.85 billion in the previous year.

[Pro] China AI stocks surge
Even if China’s broader market recovery remains muted, Chinese artificial intelligence stocks are rising. Analysts are bullish on tech giant Baidu — which Morgan Stanley called the “best AI play in China Internet.” The company is set to release earnings this week.

The bottom line

Al euphoria took over Wall Street last week, thanks to Nvidia. 

The chipmaker’s market cap briefly topped $2 trillion on Friday, after posting blockbuster earnings that fueled a powerful stock rally. 

All three indexes rose more than 1% on the week, with both the Dow and S&P posting record closes. 

Market watchers seem optimistic the current rally has legs since it’s driven by strong earnings.

“I hope you’re enjoying the party. Obviously, Nvidia was the grand finale for the earnings announcement season,” said Louis Navellier, founder of Navellier & Associates last week.

“This is why earnings season is so important… things are good. This quarter this year is strongest since the late 1999.”  

Still, it remains to be seen whether the AI momentum can last as inflation risks linger.

Investors, so far, have shrugged off the Fed’s cautious tone on interest rates and focused on the AI fervor. But that could change as a big inflation data point is due this week that could spook Wall Street.  


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