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Stock market today: Asian shares falter after Nvidia rebound supports Wall St

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares are mixed after a rebound for Nvidia propped up a weakened Wall Street.

Japan’s Nikkei jumped 1.4% to 39,726.39, buoyed by strong demand for technology shares driven by the enthusiasm over Nvidia and artificial intelligence.

Tokyo Electron gained 3.2% and Advantest Corp. soared 6.6%. Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. added 1.3%.

The Kospi in Seoul was up 0.2% at 2,781.15.

Chinese shares retreated. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged 0.1% lower to 18,052.55 and the Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.5% to 2,936.71.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.9% to 7,765.40.

Shares rose in Taiwan and India and edged higher in Thailand.

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On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.4% and neared its all-time high set a week earlier, closing at 5,469.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which does not include Nvidia, dropped 0.8% to 39,112.16, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 1.3% to 17,717.65.

Most stocks outside Wall Street’s frenzy around artificial-intelligence technology fell. Nvidia climbed 6.8%, and without that gain, the S&P 500 would have dropped to a loss for the day. The chip company’s shares snapped a three-day losing streak where they had shed nearly 13% for their worst such stretch since 2022.

Nvidia has the power to swing the S&P 500 around because it’s grown to become one of Wall Street’s largest and most influential companies.

Voracious demand for its chips to power artificial-intelligence applications has been a big reason for the U.S. stock market’s run to records recently, even as the economy’s growth slows under the weight of high interest rates. But the AI boom has been so frenzied that it’s raised worries about a possible bubble in the stock market and too-high expectations among investors.

SolarEdge Technologies dropped 20.6% after it said a customer that owes it $11.4 million filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which raises questions about how much the solar-power company can collect and when. The smaller companies in the Russell 2000 index also fell 0.4%.

Broadly, sales at retailers across the country have been up and down recently as companies highlight how lower-income customers are struggling to keep up with still-rising prices. The job market, though, still looks mostly solid. A report on Tuesday also showed confidence among U.S. consumers fell this month, but not by quite as much as economists expected.

Upper-income households seem to be doing better, and they’re booking trips on cruise ships. Carnival steamed 8.7% higher after it raised its profit forecast for 2024. The cruise company said bookings for the rest of the year are the best on record in terms of both price and occupancy. And bookings for next year may end up even better.

All told, the S&P 500 rose 21.43 points to 5,469.30. The Dow dropped 299.05 to 39,112.16, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 220.84 to 17,717.65.

It’s been mostly falling since topping 4.70% in late April, which has relaxed the pressure on the stock market. Yields have sunk on hopes that inflation is slowing enough to convince the Federal Reserve to cut its main interest rate later this year.

The Fed has been keeping the federal funds rate at the highest level in more than 20 years, hoping to grind down on the economy just enough to get inflation under control. The hope on Wall Street is that the Fed will cut interest rates at the exact right time. If it waits too long, the economy’s slowdown could careen into a recession. If it’s too early, inflation could reaccelerate.

In other dealings early Wednesday, U.S. benchmark crude oil picked up 29 cents to $81.12 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, the international standard, was up 31 cents at $85.32 per barrel.

The dollar rose to 159.79 Japanese yen from 159.63 yen. The euro was nearly unchanged at $1.0715.

___

AP Business Writer Stan Choe contributed.

Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press