Technology stocks rallied Monday as an eventful weekend in the burgeoning artificial intelligence space and a hotly anticipated earnings report drove optimism, sending several notable stocks to their highest level on record.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.1% by mid-afternoon, outpacing the S&P 500’s 0.8% gain.
Microsoft was the most notable riser, jumping more than 2% to an all-time high share price of nearly $380 after a stunning series of events at its minority-owned OpenAI resulted in OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman leaving to head up Microsoft’s new advanced AI division, a move that analysts view as a surprise but overall boon for Microsoft.
Nvidia, another $1 trillion-plus and AI-committed company, is similarly on track to close at its highest-ever share price, rising 2% Monday to extend its November rally to 24%, as investors await Nvidia’s Tuesday afternoon earnings report, which is expected to unveil a roughly 1,000% annual increase in profits.
Also hitting its highest level on record Monday were shares of chipmaker Broadcom, while several other AI-exposed tech stocks—Adobe, Intel, Meta, Micron and Palantir—all hit their highest respective share prices in more than a year, according to FactSet.
OpenAI, which Microsoft acquired a reported 49% stake of in January, helped spur a broad boost in the market’s appetite for tech stocks with its November 2022 debut of the generative AI phenomena ChatGPT. The Nasdaq shrank nearly 30% in the 11-month period preceding ChatGPT’s release, slipping as higher interest rates weighed on the growth-focused index’s valuation, but is up about 25% since ChatGPT set off bullishness for big tech’s earnings potential. OpenAI, a private company originally founded as a nonprofit before launching its “capped profit” division in 2019, shocked the market, and even its investors like Microsoft, on Friday when it announced the firing of Altman. Despite much internal and external backlash, OpenAI ultimately did not reinstate Altman, leading him to directly join Microsoft, though the Verge reported Monday afternoon Altman may still return directly to OpenAI.
The Nasdaq is now up 11% in November, on pace to notch its best month since last July and its fourth-best month of the last decade. The tech-heavy index’s 37% year-to-date jump outpaces the S&P’s 19% gain.
$4.9 trillion. That’s how much market cap the world’s seven most valuable tech stocks—Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Meta and Tesla—have added this year.