May 16, 2024 - Business

U.S. stock market hits another record high as inflation cools

A line chart that displays the S&P 500 levels from May 14, 2019, to May 15, 2024. The chart shows a steady increase in the S&P 500 index over this five-year period, notwithstanding the crash in March 2020. It ends at a record high of 5,308.
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

The stock market hit a new record high on Wednesday, with all major indices notching uncharted territory.

Why it matters: The optimism embedded in stock prices stands in stark contrast to a much gloomier national mood in an election year almost no one is excited about.

Follow the money: The last all-time high was set on March 28.

Driving the news: Inflation came in cooler than expected in April — a sign that the Fed's high interest rates are doing their job and that prices are largely under control.

The bottom line: If consumer prices continue on their current trend, we could see the Fed cutting rates in September. That's a large part of what the stock market is excited about.

Go deeper: Wall Street traders keep underestimating America's economic strength

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